Faceted Metadata in Search Interfaces Marti Hearst UC Berkeley School of Information This Research Supported by NSF IIS-9984741. Focus: Search and Navigation of Large Collections Shopping Sites Digital Libraries E-Government Sites Image Collections
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Faceted Metadata in Search Interfaces Marti HearstUC Berkeley School of Information This Research Supported by NSF IIS-9984741.
Focus: Search and Navigation of Large Collections Shopping Sites Digital Libraries E-Government Sites Image Collections Example: the University of California Library Catalog
Web Sites and Collections A report by Forrester research in 2001 showed that while 76% of firms rated search as “extremely important” only 24% consider their Web site’s search to be “extremely useful”. Johnson, K., Manning, H., Hagen, P.R., and Dorsey, M. Specialize Your Site's Search. Forrester Research, (Dec. 2001), Cambridge, MA; www.forrester.com/ER/Research/Report/Summary/0,1338,13322,00
What do we want done differently? • Organization of results • Hints of where to go next • Flexible ways to move around • … How to structure the information?
The Problem With Hierarchy • Forces a choice of one dimension vs another • Either you commit to one path, • Or you have to provide many redundant combinations • Examples • Each topic followed by all time periods followed by all locations AND • Each topic followed by all locations followed by all time periods AND • Each location followed by all topics followed by all time periods … etc
How to Structure Information for Search and Browsing? • Hierarchy is too rigid • Full meaning is too compex • Hierarchical faceted metadata: • A useful middle ground
GeoRegion + Time/Date + Topic + Role What are facets? • Sets of categories, each of which describe a different aspect of the objects in the collection. • Each of these can be hierarchical. • (Not necessarily mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, but often that is a goal.)
Cooking Method Ingredient Stir-fry Chicken Red Bell Pepper Course Curry Cuisine Main Course Thai Facet example: Recipes
Example of Faceted Metadata:Categories for Biomedical Journal Articles 1. Anatomy [A] 2. Organisms [B] 3. Diseases [C] 4. Chemicals and Drugs [D] 1. Lung 2. Mouse 3. Cancer 4. Tamoxifen
Clothing Hats Cowboy Hat Nature Animal Mammal Horse Media Engraving Wood Eng. Occupations Cowboy Location North America America Motivation Description: 19th c. paint horse; saddle and hackamore; spurs; bandana on rider; old time cowboy hat; underchin thong; flying off.
Motivation By using facets, what we are not capturing? The hat flew off; The bandana stayed on. The thong is part of the hat. The bandana is on the cowboy (not the horse). The saddle is on the horse (not the cowboy). Description: 19th c. paint horse; saddle and hackamore; spurs; bandana on rider; old time cowboy hat; underchin thong; flying off.
Hierarchical Faceted Metadata • A simplification of knowledge representation • Does not represent relationships directly • BUT can be understood well by many people when browsing rich collections of information.
How to Use in an Interface? • Users don’t like new search interfaces. • How to show lots of information without overwhelming or confusing? • There are many ways to do it wrong. • Say I want unabridged nonfiction audiobooks • Audible.com, BooksOnTape.com, and BrillianceAudio: • no way to browse a given category and simultaneuosly select unabridged versions • Amazon.com: • has finally gotten browsing over multiple kinds of features working; this is a recent development • but still restricted on what can be added into the query
A Solution (The Flamenco Project) • Incorporating Faceted Hierarchical Metadata into Interfaces for Large Collections • Key Goals: • Support integrated browsing and keyword search • Provide an experience of “browsing the shelves” • Add power and flexibility without introducing confusion or a feeling of “clutter” • Allow users to take the path most natural to them • Method: • User-centered design, including needs assessment and many iterations of design and testing