On December 5, 16hrs, Leif Azzopardi (University of Glasgow) will give a talk entitled “The Microeconomics of Interactive Information Retrieval”. Searching is inherently an interactive process usually requiring numerous iterations of querying and assessing in order to find the desired amount of relevant information. Essentially, the search process can be viewed as a combination of inputs (queries and assessments) which are used to “produce” output (relevance). Under this view, it is possible to adapt microeconomic theory to analyze and understand the dynamics of Interactive Information Retrieval. In this talk, I will describe how the search process can be treated as an economics problem and then go on to describe a series of simulations on TREC test collections where I analyzed various combinations of inputs in the “production” of relevance. The analysis reveals that the total Cumulative Gain obtained during the course of a search session is functionally related to querying and assessing. Furthermore, this relationship can be characterized mathematically by the Cobbs-Douglas production function. Then in a subsequent analysis using cost models, I show which search strategies minimize the cost of interaction for a given level of output. And these developments establishes the theoretical foundations of Interactive Information Retrieval, providing numerous directions for empirical experimentation that are motivated directly from theory.
Date: 5 December
Time: 16:00 – 17:00