Enabling Context-Sensitive Information Seeking

Information seeking is an important but often difficult task, especially when it involves large and complex data sets. We hypothesize that a context-sensitive interaction paradigm would greatly assist users in their information seeking. In particular, such a paradigm would allow users to both express their requests and receive requested information in context. Driven by this hypothesis, we have followed a rigorous process to design, develop, and evaluate a full-fledged, context-sensitive information system. We started with a Wizard-of-OZ (WOZ) study to verify the effectiveness of our envisioned system. We then built a fully automated system based on the findings from our WOZ study. We targeted the development and integration of two sets of technologies: context-sensitive multimodal input interpretation and multimedia output generation. Finally, we formally evaluated the usability of our system in real world conditions. The results show that our system greatly improves the users’ ability to perform information-seeking tasks, thus confirming our initial hypothesis. Moreover, these results indicate that our approaches are capable of supporting context-sensitive information seeking in practical applications.

By: Michelle X. Zhou; Keith Houck; Shimei Pan; Jamers Shaw; Vikram Aggarwal; Zhen Wen

Published in: RC23787 in 2005


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