Archive for the 'IR for children' Category

Query Recommendation for Children

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

by Sergio Duarte Torres, Djoerd Hiemstra, Ingmar Weber (Yahoo), Pavel Serdyukov (Yandex)

One of the biggest problems that children experience while searching the web occurs during the query formulation process. Children have been found to struggle formulating queries based on keywords given their limited vocabulary and their difficulty to choose the right keywords. In this work we propose a method that utilizes tags from social media to suggest queries related to children topics. Concretely we propose a simple yet effective approach to bias a random walk defined on a bipartite graph of web resources and tags through keywords that are more commonly used to describe resources for children. We evaluate our method using a large query log sample of queries aimed at retrieving information for children. We show that our method outperforms query suggestions of state-of-the-art search engines and state-of-the art query suggestions based on random walks.

to be presented at the The 21st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2012.

[download pdf]

Initial Evaluation of EmSe

Sunday, June 10th, 2012, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

EmSe: Initial Evaluation of a Child-friendly Medical Search System

by PuppyIR

When undergoing medical treatment in combination with extended stays in hospitals, children have been frequently found to develop an interest in their condition and the course of treatment. PuppyIR A natural means of searching for related information would be to use a web search engine. The medical domain, however, imposes several key challenges on young and inexperienced searchers, such as difficult terminology, potentially frightening topics or non-objective information offered by lobbyists or pharmaceutical companies. To address these problems, we present the design and usability study of EmSe, a search service for children in a hospital environment.

The paper will be presented at the fourth Information Interaction in Context Symposium, IIiX 2012 on August 21-24, 2012 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

[download pdf]

Emma Search Service

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

This demonstrator showcases the PuppyIR framework by incorporating numerous child specific components developed as part of the PuppyIR project. The Demonstrator is for Emma’s Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam and provides children with a novel and exciting interface to help support their information needs while in hospital or visiting the hospital.

EmSe will be demonstrated at the 34th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) in Barcelona on 1-5 April 2012

What and How Children Search on the Web

Thursday, August 18th, 2011, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

by Sergio Duarte Torres and Ingmar Weber (Yahoo! Research)

The Internet has become an important part of the daily life of children as a source of information and leisure activities. Nonetheless, given that most of the content available on the web is aimed at the general public, children are constantly exposed to inappropriate content, either because the language goes beyond their reading skills, their attention span differs from grown-ups or simple because the content is not targeted at children as is the case of ads and adult content. In this work we employed a large query log sample from a commercial web search engine to identify the struggles and search behavior of children of the age of 6 to young adults of the age of 18. Concretely we hypothesized that the large and complex volume of information to which children are exposed leads to ill-defined searches and to dis-orientation during the search process. For this purpose, we quantified their search difficulties based on query metrics (e.g. fraction of queries posed in natural language), session metrics (e.g. fraction of abandoned sessions) and click activity (e.g. fraction of ad clicks). We also used the search logs to retrace stages of child development. Concretely we looked for changes in the user interests (e.g. distribution of topics searched), language development (e.g. readability of the content accessed) and cognitive development (e.g. sentiment expressed in the queries) among children and adults. We observed that these metrics clearly demonstrate an increased level of confusion and unsuccessful search sessions among children. We also found a clear relation between the reading level of the clicked pages and the demographics characteristics of the users such as age and average educational attainment of the zone in which the user is located.

Tag Cloud

The paper will be presented at the 20th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) in Glasgow, 24-28 October 2011

[download pdf]

ImagePile: an Alternative for Vertical Results Lists

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

by Saskia Akkersdijk, Merel Brandon, Hanna Jochmann-Mannak, Djoerd Hiemstra, and Theo Huibers

ImagePileRecent work shows that children are very well capable of searching with Google, due to their familiarity with the interface. However, children do have difficulties with the vertical list representation of the results. In this paper, we present an alternative result representation for a touch interface, the ImagePile. The ImagePile displays the results as a pile of images where the user navigates through via horizontal swiping. This representation was tested on a search engine for the Emma child hospital’s library. Using a within subject experiment, both representations were tested with children to compare the usability of both systems. The vertical representation was perceived as easier to use, but the ImagePile system was considered more fun to use. Also, with the ImagePile system more relevant results were chosen by the children, and they were more aware of the number of results.

[download pdf]

Visual Exploration of Health Information for Children

Monday, May 9th, 2011, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

by Frans van der Sluis, Sergio Duarte, Djoerd Hiemstra, Betsy van Dijk and Frea Kruisinga

human body searchChildren experience several difficulties retrieving information using current Information Retrieval (IR) systems. Particularly, children struggle to find the right keywords to construct queries given their lack of domain knowledge. This problem is even more critical in the case of the specialized health domain. In this work we present a novel method to address this problem using a cross-media search interface in which the textual data is searched through visual images. This solution aims to solve the recall and recognition problem which is salient for health information, by replacing the need for a vocabulary with the easy task of recognising the different body parts.

[download pdf]

Tangible Information Retrieval for Children

Sunday, May 16th, 2010, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

by Michel Jansen, Wim Bos, Paul van der Vet, Theo Huibers and Djoerd Hiemstra

Despite several efforts to make search engines more child-friendly, children still have trouble using systems that require keyboard input. We present TeddIR: a system using a tangible interface that allows children to search for books by placing tangible figurines and books they like/dislike in a green/red box, causing relevant results to be shown on a display. This way, issues with spelling and query formulation are avoided. A fully functional prototype was built and evaluated with children aged 6-8 at a primary school. The children understood TeddIR to a large extent and enjoyed the playful interaction.

TeddIR in the set-up used during evaluation.

TeddIR will be presented at 9th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, Barcelona June 9-11, 2010.

[download pdf]

Query log analysis for children

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

Query log analysis in the context of Information Retrieval for children

by Sergio Duarte Torres, Djoerd Hiemstra, and Pavel Serdyukov

In this paper we analyze queries and sessions intended to satisfy children’s information needs using a large-scale query log. The aim of this analysis is twofold: i) To identify differences between such queries and sessions, and general queries and sessions; ii) To enhance the query log by including annotations of queries, sessions, and actions for future research on information retrieval for children. We found statistically significant differences between the set of general purpose and queries seeking for content intended for children. We show that our findings are consistent with previous studies on the physical behavior of children using Web search engines.

most frequent queries

The paper will be presented at the ACM IIiX Conference in New Brunswick, USA

[download preprint]

Automatic Reformulation of Children’s Search Queries

Monday, May 3rd, 2010, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

Maarten van Kalsbeek, Joost de Wit, Dolf Trieschnigg, Paul van der Vet, Theo Huibers and Djoerd Hiemstra

The number of children that have access to an Internet connection (at home or at school) is large and growing fast. Many of these children search the web by using a search engine. These search engines do not consider their skills and preferences however, which makes searching difficult. This paper tries to uncover methods and techniques that can be used to automatically improve search results on queries formulated by children. In order to achieve this, a prototype of a query expander is built that implements several of these techniques. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the prototype and a discussion of the promising results.

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SIGIR Workshop on Accessible Search Systems

Monday, March 29th, 2010, posted by Djoerd Hiemstra

We organize a workshop on an exciting new theme at SIGIR on 23 July 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current search systems are not adequate for individuals with specific needs: children, older adults, people with visual or motor impairments, and people with intellectual disabilities or low literacy. Search services are typically created for average users (young or middle-aged adults without physical or mental disabilities) and information retrieval methods are based on their perception of relevance as well. The workshop will be the first ever to raise the discussion on how to make search engines accessible for different types of users, including those with problems in reading, writing or comprehension of complex content. Search accessibility means that people whose abilities are considerably different from those that average users have will be able to use search systems with the same success.

The objective of the workshop is to provide a forum and initiate collaborations between academics and industrial practitioners interested in making search more usable for users in general and for users with specific needs in particular. We encourage presentation and participation from researchers working at the intersection of information retrieval, natural language processing, human-computer interaction, ambient intelligence and related areas. The workshop will be a mix of oral presentations for long papers (maximum of 8 pages), a session for posters (maximum of 2 pages) and a panel discussion. All submissions will be reviewed by at least two PC members. Workshop proceedings will be available at the workshop. The workshop welcomes, but is not limited to, contributions on a range of the following key issues:

  • Understanding of search behavior of users with specific needs
  • Understanding of relevance criteria of users with specific needs
  • Understanding the effects of domain expertise, age, user experience and cognitive abilities on search goals and results evaluation
  • Non-topical aspects of relevance: text style, readability, appropriateness of language (harassment and explicit content detection)
  • Development of test collections for evaluation of accessible search systems
  • Collaborative search techniques for assisting users with specific needs (e.g. parents helping children)
  • Potential of search personalization techniques to satisfy users with specific needs
  • Search interfaces and result representation for people with specific needs
  • Using assistive technologies for interaction with search systems, e.g. speech recognition or eye tracking software for querying and browsing.

See the Workshop website.