UCD Paper on Recommender System Approach to Enhance Web Search

October 18th, 2010

At the 19th Irish Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (AICS 2008), researchers from the School of Computer Science and Informatics at the University College Dublin, Ireland, published a fascinating research paper entitled “A recommender system approach to enhance web search and query formulation.”

They begin by observing that “the traditional search interface has remained relatively static” before going on to describe “a recommender system approach to Web search which allows users to dynamically interact with the result-space that is of interest to them,” which they see as “an overlay interface as a complement to an existing search engine.”  This will sound familiar to anyone who has used Surf Canyon, which the researchers acknowledge (emphasis added):

“… Surf Canyon is an excellent example of a next-generation approach, and allows users to interact with results returned by existing engines; in short, users can select a result and receive recommendations drawn  from related results that appear further down a result list. Surf Canyon launched in the latter stages of our own research and presents an interface similar to what is proposed here.”

While there are significant differences in terms or implementation, their results are similar to what Surf Canyon has demonstrated:

“A key question is whether the resulting recommendations were found to be relevant. In fact… at least one of the 3 recommended results was selected approximately 25% of the time, a very significant indicator of relevance…”

Tags: Recommendations Research Testimonials