Investigating information retrieval support techniques for different information-seeking strategies

Xiaojun Yuan, Nicholas J. Belkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We report on a study that investigated the efficacy of four different interactive information retrieval (IIR) systems, each designed to support a specific information-seeking strategy (ISS). These systems were constructed using different combinations of IR techniques (i.e., combinations of different methods of representation, comparison, presentation and navigation), each of which was hypothesized to be well suited to support a specific ISS. We compared the performance of searchers in each such system, designated "experimental," to an appropriate "baseline" system, which implemented the standard specified query and results list model of current state-of-the-art experimental and operational IR systems. Four within-subjects experiments were conducted for the purpose of this comparison. Results showed that each of the experimental systems was superior to its baseline system in supporting user performance for the specific ISS (that is, the information problem leading to that ISS) for which the system was designed. These results indicate that an IIR system, which intends to support more than one kind of ISS, should be designed within a framework which allows the use and combination of different IR support techniques for different ISSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1563
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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