Role-based results redistribution for collaborative information retrieval

Abstract

We describe a new approach for algorithmic mediation of a collaborative search process. Unlike most approaches to collaborative IR, we are designing systems that mediate explicitly-defined synchronous collaboration among small groups of searchers with a shared information need. Such functionality is provided by first obtaining different rank-lists based on searchers’ queries, fusing these rank-lists, and then splitting the combined list to distribute documents among collaborators according to their roles. For the work reported here, we consider the case of two people collaborating on a search. We assign them roles of Gatherer and Surveyor: the Gatherer is tasked with exploring highly promising information on a given topic, and the Surveyor is tasked with digging further to explore more diverse information. We demonstrate how our technique provides the Gatherer with high-precision results, and the Surveyor with information that is high in entropy.