Gene Golovchinsky, Ph.D.

In Memoriam, 1965 - 2013

Gene Golovchinsky

Before his untimely passing in 2013, Gene was an active research scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval community.  His work on Collaborative Exploratory Search and Querium sought to help people satisfy complex collaborative information seeking needs such as those that occur during e-discovery, academic research, and intelligence analysis.

Before that, Gene was the project leader and lead architect of the DICE usable conference room system, which controlled a variety of devices and applications to support users’ tasks in conference rooms, and the ReBoard whiteboard capture and retrieval system.  He also worked on collaborative data collection systems, web services platforms for mobile computing, distributed annotation systems, and freeform digital ink annotation for tablet computers.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he worked on a variety of pioneering pen-based tablet applications, including a pen-based document reader for an In-Q-Tel contract, and the XLibris active reading appliance. He also designed a client-server annotation storage architecture prototype in use in Fuji Xerox’s DocuWorks/ArcSuite product.

Before joining FXPAL in 1996, Gene earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles and Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Interactive Media Lab, part of the Human Factors/Ergonomics area at the University of Toronto.

Co-Authors

Publications

2009
2008
Publication Details
  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report
  • Dec 15, 2008

Abstract

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We have developed an interactive video search system that allows the searcher to rapidly assess query results and easily pivot off those results to form new queries. The system is intended to maximize the use of the discriminative power of the human searcher. The typical video search scenario we consider has a single searcher with the ability to search with text and content-based queries. In this paper, we evaluate a new collaborative modification of our search system. Using our system, two or more users with a common information need search together, simultaneously. The collaborative system provides tools, user interfaces and, most importantly, algorithmically-mediated retrieval to focus, enhance and augment the team's search and communication activities. In our evaluations, algorithmic mediation improved the collaborative performance of both retrieval (allowing a team of searchers to find relevant information more efficiently and effectively), and exploration (allowing the searchers to find relevant information that cannot be found while working individually). We present analysis and conclusions from comparative evaluations of the search system.

Cerchiamo: a collaborative exploratory search tool

Publication Details
  • CSCW 2008 (Demo), San Diego, CA, ACM Press.
  • Nov 10, 2008

Abstract

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We describe Cerchiamo, a collaborative exploratory search system that allows teams of searchers to explore document collections synchronously. Working with Cerchiamo, team members use independent interfaces to run queries, browse results, and make relevance judgments. The system mediates the team members' search activity by passing and reordering search results and suggested query terms based on the teams' actions. The combination of synchronous influence with independent interaction allows team members to be more effective and efficient in performing search tasks.
Publication Details
  • Workshop held in conjunction with CSCW2008
  • Nov 8, 2008

Abstract

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It is increasingly common to find Multiple Display Environments (MDEs) in a variety of settings, including the workplace, the classroom, and perhaps soon, the home. While some technical challenges exist even in single-user MDEs, collaborative use of MDEs offers a rich set of opportunities for research and development. In this workshop, we will bring together experts in designing, developing, building and evaluating MDEs to improve our collective understanding of design guidelines, relevant real-world activities, evaluation methods and metrics, and opportunities for remote as well as collocated collaboration. We intend to create not only a broader understanding of this growing field, but also to foster a community of researchers interested in bringing these environments from the laboratory to the real world. In this workshop, we intended to explore the following research themes:
  • Elicitation and process of distilling design guidelines for MDE systems and interfaces.
  • Investigation and classification of activities suited for MDEs.
  • Exploration and assessment of how existing groupware theories apply to collaboration in MDEs.
  • Evaluation techniques and metrics for assessing effectiveness of prototype MDE systems and interfaces.
  • Exploration of MDE use beyond strictly collocated collaboration.

Reading in the Office

Publication Details
  • BooksOnline'08, October 30, 2008
  • Oct 30, 2008

Abstract

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Reading online poses a number of technological challenges. Advances in technology such as touch screens, light-weight high-power computers, and bi-stable displays have periodically renewed interest in online reading over the last twenty years, only to see that interest decline to a small early-adopter community. The recent release of the Kindle by Amazon is another attempt to create an online reading device. Has publicity surrounding Kindle and other such devices has reached critical mass to allow them to penetrate the consumer market successfully, or will we see a decline in interest over the next couple of years echoing the lifecycle of Softbook™ and Rocket eBook™ devices that preceded them? I argue that the true value of online reading lies in supporting activities beyond reading per se: activities such as annotation, reading and comparing multiple documents, transitions between reading, writing and retrieval, etc. Whether the current hardware will be successful in the long term may depend on its abilities to address the reading needs of knowledge workers, not just leisure readers.

Ranked Feature Fusion Models for Ad Hoc Retrieval

Publication Details
  • CIKM (Conference on Information and Knowledge Management) 2008, October, Napa, CA
  • Oct 27, 2008

Abstract

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We introduce the Ranked Feature Fusion framework for information retrieval system design. Typical information retrieval formalisms such as the vector space model, the best-match model and the language model first combine features (such as term frequency and document length) into a unified representation, and then use the representation to rank documents. We take the opposite approach: Documents are first ranked by the relevance of a single feature value and are assigned scores based on their relative ordering within the collection. A separate ranked list is created for every feature value and these lists are then fused to produce a final document scoring. This new ``rank then combine'' approach is extensively evaluated and is shown to be as effective as traditional ``combine then rank'' approaches. The model is easy to understand and contains fewer parameters than other approaches. Finally, the model is easy to extend (integration of new features is trivial) and modify. This advantage includes but is not limited to relevance feedback and distribution flattening.
Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2008. (Singapore, Singapore, July 20 - 24, 2008). ACM, New York, NY, 315-322. Best Paper Award.
  • Jul 22, 2008

Abstract

Close
We describe a new approach to information retrieval: algorithmic mediation for intentional, synchronous collabo- rative exploratory search. Using our system, two or more users with a common information need search together, simultaneously. The collaborative system provides tools, user interfaces and, most importantly, algorithmically-mediated retrieval to focus, enhance and augment the team's search and communication activities. Collaborative search outperformed post hoc merging of similarly instrumented single user runs. Algorithmic mediation improved both collaborative search (allowing a team of searchers to nd relevant in- formation more efficiently and effectively), and exploratory search (allowing the searchers to find relevant information that cannot be found while working individually).

Collaborative Information Seeking in Electronic Environments

Publication Details
  • Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop. An Invitational Workshop Sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Available online at http://www.ils.unc.edu/ISSS/
  • Jun 26, 2008

Abstract

Close
Collaboration in information seeking, while common in practice, is just being recognized as an important research area. Several studies have documented various collaboration strategies that people have adopted (and adapted), and some initial systems have been built. This field is in its infancy, however. We need to understand which real-world tasks are best suited for collaborative work. We need to extend models of information seeking to accommodate explicit and implicit collaboration. We need to invent a suite of algorithms to mediate search activities. We need to devise evaluation metrics that take into account multiple people's contributions to search.

1st International Workshop on Collaborative Information Retrieval

Publication Details
  • JCDL 2008
  • Jun 20, 2008

Abstract

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Explicit support for collaboration is becoming increasingly important for certain kinds of collection-building activities in digital libraries. In the last few years, several research groups have also pursued various issues related to collaboration during search [4][5][6]. We can represent collaboration in search on two dimensions - synchrony and intent. Asynchronous collaboration means that people are not working on the same problem simultaneously; implicit collaboration occurs when the system uses information from others' use of the system to inform new searches, but does not guarantee consistency of search goals. In this workshop, we are concerned with the top-left quadrant of Figure 1 that represents small groups of people working toward a common goal at the same time. These synchronous, explicit collaborations could occur amongst remotely situated users, each with their own computers, or amongst a co-located group sharing devices; these spatial configurations add yet another dimension to be considered when designing collaborative search systems.
Publication Details
  • 1st International Workshop on Collaborative Information Retrieval. JCDL 2008.
  • Jun 20, 2008

Abstract

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People can help other people find information in networked information seeking environments. Recently, many such systems and algorithms have proliferated in industry and in academia. Unfortunately, it is difficult to compare the systems in meaningful ways because they often define collaboration in different ways. In this paper, we propose a model of possible kinds of collaboration, and illustrate it with examples from literature. The model contains four dimensions: intent, concurrency, depth and location. This model can be used to classify existing systems and to suggest possible opportunities for design in this space.
2007

Collaborative Exploratory Search

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2007, Boston, Massachusetts (HCIR = Human Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval)
  • Nov 2, 2007

Abstract

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We propose to mitigate the deficiencies of correlated search with collaborative search, that is, search in which a small group of people shares a common information need and actively (and synchronously) collaborates to achieve it. Furthermore, we propose a system architecture that mediates search activity of multiple people by combining their inputs and by specializing results delivered to them to take advantage of their skills and knowledge.
2006
Publication Details
  • UbiComp 2006 Workshop position paper
  • Sep 20, 2006

Abstract

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We describe our work-in-progress: a "wizard-free" conference room designed for ease of use, yet retaining next-generation functionality. Called USE (Usable Smart Environments), our system uses multi-display systems, immersive conferencing, and secure authentication. It is based in cross-cultural ethnographic studies on the way people use conference rooms. The USE project has developed a flexible, extensible architecture specifically designed to enhance ease of use in smart environment technologies. The architecture allows customization and personalization of smart environments for particular people and groups, types of work, and specific physical spaces. The system consists of a database of devices with attributes, rooms and meetings that implements a prototype-instance inheritance mechanism through which contextual information (e.g. IP addresses application settings, phone numbers for teleconferencing systems, etc.) can be associated
Publication Details
  • International Journal of Web Services Practices
  • Jan 17, 2006

Abstract

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Mobile users often require access to their documents while away from the office. While pre-loading documents in a repository can make those documents available remotely, people need to know in advance which documents they might need. Furthermore, it may be difficult to view, print, or share the document through a portable device such as cell phone. We describe DoKumobility, a network of web services for mobile users for managing, printing, and sharing documents. In this paper, we describe the infrastructure and illustrate its use with several applications. We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and future work.
2005

DoKumobility: Web services for the mobile worker

Publication Details
  • IEEE International Conference on Next Generation Web Services Practices (NWeSP'05), Seoul, Korea
  • Aug 22, 2005

Abstract

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Mobile users often require access to their documents while away from the office. While pre-loading documents in a repository can make those documents available remotely, people need to know in advance which documents they might need. Furthermore, it may be difficult to view, print, or share the document through a portable device such as cell phone. We implemented DoKumobility, a network of web services for mobile users for managing, printing, and sharing documents. In this paper, we describe the infrastructure and illustrate its use with several applications
2004
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext 2004, ACM Press
  • Aug 9, 2004

Abstract

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The preservation of literary hypertexts presents significant challenges if we are to ensure continued access to them as the underlying technology changes. Not only does such an effort involve standard digital preservation problems of representing and refreshing metadata, any constituent media types, and structure; hypertext preservation poses additional dimensions that arise from the work's on-screen appearance, its interactive behavior, and the ways a reader's interaction with the work is recorded. In this paper, we describe aspects of preservation introduced by literary hypertexts such as the need to reproduce their modes of interactivity and their means of capturing and using records of reading. We then suggest strategies for addressing the pragmatic dimensions of hypertext preservation and discuss their status within existing digital preservation schemes. Finally, we examine the possible roles various stakeholders within and outside of the hypertext community might assume, including several social and legal issues that stem from preservation.
2003

Identifying Useful Passages in Documents based on Annotation Patterns.

Publication Details
  • 7th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL 2003) Trondheim, Norway, August 17-22, 2003
  • Aug 17, 2003

Abstract

Close
Many readers annotate passages that are important to their work. If we understand the relationship between the types of marks on a passage and the passage's ultimate utility in a task, then we can design e-book software to facilitate access to the most important annotated parts of the documents. To investigate this hypothesis and to guide software design, we have analyzed annotations collected during an earlier study of law students reading printed case law and writing Moot Court briefs. This study has allowed us to characterize the relationship between the students' annotations and the citations they use in their final written briefs. We think of annotations that relate directly to the written brief as high-value annotations; these annotations have particular, detectable characteristics. Based on this study we have designed a mark parser that analyzes freeform digital ink to identify such high-value annotations.
2002

Moving Markup: Repositioning Freeform Annotations

Publication Details
  • Proceedings of ACM UIST 2002
  • Oct 27, 2002

Abstract

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Freeform digital ink annotation allows readers to interact with documents in an intuitive and familiar manner. Such marks are easy to manage on static documents, and provide a familiar annotation experience. In this paper, we describe an implementation of a freeform annotation system that accommodates dynamic document layout. The algorithm preserves the correct position of annotations when documents are viewed with different fonts or font sizes, with different aspect ratios, or on different devices. We explore a range of heuristics and algorithms required to handle common types of annotation, and conclude with a discussion of possible extensions to handle special kinds of annotations and changes to documents.

Going Back in Hypertext

Publication Details
  • Proceedings of ACM Hypertext 2002
  • Jun 11, 2002

Abstract

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Hypertext interfaces typically involve navigation, the act (and interaction) of moving from one piece of information to another. Navigation can be exploratory, or it may involve backtracking to some previously-visited node. While backtracking interfaces are common, they may not reflect differences in readers' purposes and mental models. This paper draws on some empirical evidence regarding navigation between and within documents to suggest improvements on traditional hypertext navigation, and proposes a time-based view of backtracking.
Publication Details
  • Journal of Library Administration, 35:1-2, 99-123, Haworth
  • Jun 7, 2002

Abstract

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In the emerging world of electronic publishing how we create, distribute, and read books will be in a large part determined by an underlying framework of content standards that establishes the range of technological opportunities and constraints for publishing and reading systems. But efforts to develop content standards based on sound engineering models must skillfully negotiate competing and sometimes apparently irreconcilable objectives if they are to produce results relevant to the rapidly changing course of technology. The Open eBook Forum's Publication Structure, an XML-based specification for electronic books, is an example of the sort of timely and innovative problem solving required for successful real-world standards development. As a result of this effort, the electronic book industry will not only happen sooner and on a larger scale than it would have otherwise, but the electronic books it produces will be more functional, more interoperable, and more accessible to all readers. Public interest participants have a critical role in this process.
2001

The impact of text browsing on text retrieval performance

Publication Details
  • Information Processing and Management 37 (3) pp. 507-520
  • Aug 21, 2001

Abstract

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The results from a series of three experiments that used Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) data and TREC search topics are compared. These experiments each involved three novel user interfaces (one per experiment). User interfaces that made it easier for users to view text were found to improve recall in all three experiments. A distinction was found between a cluster of subjects (a majority of whom were search experts) who tended to read fewer documents more carefully (readers, or exclusives) and subjects who skimmed through more documents without reading them as carefully (skimmers, or inclusives). Skimmers were found to have significantly better recall overall. A major outcome from our experiments at TREC and with the TREC data, is that hypertext interfaces to information retrieval (IR) tasks tend to increase recall. Our interpretation of this pattern of results across the three experiments is that increased interaction with the text (more pages viewed) generally improves recall. Findings from one of the experiments indicated that viewing a greater diversity of text on a single screen (i.e., not just more text per se, but more articles available at once) may also improve recall. In an experiment where a traditional (type-in) query interface was contrasted with a condition where queries were marked up on the text, the improvement in recall due to viewing more text was more pronounced with search novices. Our results demonstrate that markup and hypertext interfaces to text retrieval systems can benefit recall and can also benefit novices. The challenge now will be to find modified versions of hypertext interfaces that can improve precision, as well as recall and that can work with users who prefer to use different types of search strategy or have different types of training and experience.

Designing e-Books for Legal Research.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of JCDL 2001 (Roanoke, VA, June 23-27). ACM Press. pp. 41-48.
  • Jun 23, 2001

Abstract

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In this paper we report the findings from a field study of legal research in a first-tier law school and on the resulting redesign of XLibris, a next-generation e-book. We first characterize a work setting in which we expected an e-book to be a useful interface for reading and otherwise using a mix of physical and digital library materials, and explore what kinds of reading-related functionality would bring value to this setting. We do this by describing important aspects of legal research in a heterogeneous information environment, including mobility, reading, annotation, link following and writing practices, and their general implications for design. We then discuss how our work with a user community and an evolving e-book prototype allowed us to examine tandem issues of usability and utility, and to redesign an existing e-book user interface to suit the needs of law students. The study caused us to move away from the notion of a stand-alone reading device and toward the concept of a document laptop, a platform that would provide wireless access to information resources, as well as support a fuller spectrum of reading-related activities.
2000
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of UIST '00, ACM Press, pp. 81-89, 2000.
  • Nov 4, 2000

Abstract

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Hitchcock is a system that allows users to easily create custom videos from raw video shot with a standard video camera. In contrast to other video editing systems, Hitchcock uses automatic analysis to determine the suitability of portions of the raw video. Unsuitable video typically has fast or erratic camera motion. Hitchcock first analyzes video to identify the type and amount of camera motion: fast pan, slow zoom, etc. Based on this analysis, a numerical "unsuitability" score is computed for each frame of the video. Combined with standard editing rules, this score is used to identify clips for inclusion in the final video and to select their start and end points. To create a custom video, the user drags keyframes corresponding to the desired clips into a storyboard. Users can lengthen or shorten the clip without specifying the start and end frames explicitly. Clip lengths are balanced automatically using a spring-based algorithm.

Hypertext Interaction Revisited

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext '00, ACM Press, pp. 171-179, 2000
  • May 30, 2000

Abstract

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Much of hypertext narrative relies on links to shape a reader's interaction with the text. But links may be too limited to express ambiguity, imprecision, and entropy, or to admit new modes of participation short of full collaboration. We use an e-book form to explore the implications of freeform annotation-based interaction with hypertext narrative. Readers' marks on the text can be used to guide navigation, create a persistent record of a reading, or to recombine textual elements as a means of creating a new narrative. In this paper, we describe how such an experimental capability was created on top of XLibris, a next generation e-book, using Forward Anywhere as the hypernarrative. We work through a scenario of interaction, and discuss the issues the work raises