Directing and Combining Multiple Queries for Exploratory Search by Visual Interactive Intent Modeling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In interactive information-seeking, a user often performs many interrelated queries and interactions covering multiple aspects of a broad topic of interest. Especially in difficult information-seeking tasks the user may need to find what is in common among such multiple aspects. Therefore, the user may need to compare and combine results across queries. While methods to combine queries or rankings have been proposed, little attention has been paid to interactive support for combining multiple queries in exploratory search. We introduce an interactive information retrieval system for exploratory search with multiple simultaneous search queries that can be combined. The user is able to direct search in the multiple queries, and combine queries by two operations: intersection and difference, which reveal what is relevant to the user intent of two queries, and what is relevant to one but not the other. Search is directed by relevance feedback on visualized user intent models of each query. Operations on queries act directly on the intent models inferring a combined user intent model. Each combination yields a new result (ranking) and acts as a new search that can be interactively directed and further combined. User experiments on difficult information-seeking tasks show that our novel system with query operations yields more relevant top-ranked documents in a shorter time than a baseline multiple-query system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021 - 18th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsCarmelo Ardito, Rosa Lanzilotti, Alessio Malizia, Alessio Malizia, Helen Petrie, Antonio Piccinno, Giuseppe Desolda, Kori Inkpen
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-85613-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-85612-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - Bari, Italy
Duration: 30 Aug 20213 Sept 2021
Conference number: 18

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12934 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleINTERACT


  • interactive information retrieval
  • information visualization
  • exploratory search
  • intent modeling
  • query combination


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