Frans van der Sluis defends his PhD thesis on Information Experience

When Complexity becomes Interesting: An Inquiry into the Information eXperience

by Frans van der Sluis

To date, most research in information retrieval and related fields has been concerned primarily with efficiency and effectiveness of either the information system or the interaction of the user with the information system. At the same time, understanding the experience of a user during information interaction is recognized as a grand challenge for the development of information systems. There is a widely shared intuition that the value of the retrieved information is dependent on more than system characteristics such as the topical overlap between a query and a document. As it is not obvious how to embrace this intuition, this challenge has mostly been left ignored. This dissertation embarked upon the challenge of describing and developing an operational model of the Information eXperience (IX) – the experience during the interaction with information. This task was decomposed into three sub-challenges:

  1. Transform the fuzzy concept of the IX into a formalized one.
  2. Develop a model of textual complexity that enables an information system to influence a user’s IX.
  3. Identify and influence the causes of the experience of interest in text.

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