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Assessment of Value. Presented by Ben Hunter and Gretchen Scronce INLS 180: Human Information Interactions October 12, 3004. Images courtesy of Characteristics of Usefulness . Authority Quality Relevance Value. Authority.

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assessment of value

Assessment of Value

Presented by Ben Hunter and Gretchen Scronce

INLS 180: Human Information Interactions

October 12, 3004

Images courtesy of

characteristics of usefulness
Characteristics of Usefulness
  • Authority
  • Quality
  • Relevance
  • Value
  • According to Amento: “an authoritative document is one that many other documents link to” (297)
  • Not all links are equally valuable
  • A good authority is linked to by good hubs and a good hub links to good authorities
playing the system
Playing the system?
  • Google bombing
    • 1. Humor
    • 2. Ego
    • 3. Money
    • 4. Justice
  • Deterioration of quality
  • Subjective
  • Amento: “The quality of a web site inherently is a matter of human judgement” (296)

“Relevance refers to the binary state of whether a document is on the same topic as the query or not.” (Glover, E.J., et al)

  • Based on individual human judgment
  • Subjective
  • Determined by user’s information need
  • Offering search constraints can improve likelihood of value
does authority mean quality
Does “Authority” Mean Quality?
  • Brian Amento, Loren Terveen and Will Hill
  • Published in 2000
problems faced by internet users
Problems faced by Internet users
  • Finding collections of items relevant to their interests
  • Identifying high-quality items
  • Finding items that contain a certain category of information
  • Creating and maintaining personalized subsets of items
link based algorithms
Link-based Algorithms
  • Do their results correlate with human standards of quality?
  • Are human standards of quality consistent? Does a shared notion of quality even exist?
  • Do the different link-based algorithms produce consistent results?
research method
Research Method
  • 40 subjects from a local university identified sites relevant to specific popular-culture themes
  • 16 self-identified experts rated the quality of each site
  • Various link and content-based algorithms used to evaluate sites
results of the study
Results of the Study
  • Generally, experts agreed with each other
  • Search engines were relatively consistent with each other
  • Experts and link-based algorithms came up with similar results
surprises for the researchers
Surprises for the Researchers
  • In-degree performed at least as well as more sophisticated methods
  • Simple page count was almost as good as link-analysis methods
  • Topic experts make consistent quality judgments
  • Link-based metrics and a simple content metric both do a good job of identifying high quality items
problems with study
Problems with Study
  • Self-selecting, probably homogenous test group (self-identified expert?)
  • Are broad topics really what people typically search for?
  • Does pop-culture represent other uses of search engines?
web search your way
Web Search--Your Way

Eric J. Glover, Steve Lawrence, Michael D. Gordon, William P. Birmingham, and C. Lee Giles (2000)

standard search engine
Standard search engine
  • Searches based on user-generated keyword queries
  • Ordering policy determines which results are listed first
metasearch engine
Metasearch engine
  • Single interface to multiple search engines
  • Results are ordered into one list
  • Metasearches often have difficulty effectively ordering results taken from different search engines--quality is inconsistent
inquirus 2
Inquirus 2
  • Source selection based on user preferences: information need categories
  • Query modification: prepends/appends
  • Ordering policy: Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
benefits drawbacks
  • User-controlled
  • May produce results of higher value
  • Constructing search is more involved for user
  • Designed for sophisticated searchers--confusing to average Google user?

The authors believe that searching features such as those used by Inquirus 2 will enable search engines to produce results of higher value to the user.

keep in mind
Keep in mind…
  • Not a user study
  • Inquirus 2 is used by NEC Research Institute, a sophisticated user group
  • Authors work for NEC
  • Now at Inquirus 3--searches non-Web based sources
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • Does one characteristic of usefulness seem more important than the others?
  • Does the popularity of Google, a search engine that uses a link-based metric to assign quality, validate the success of such metrics? Do you think such systems erode over time (e.g. Google bombing) or improve?
  • How might a typical user react to a complicated search engine like Inquirus 2?
  • What impact does the continued evolution of the web have on the concepts discussed in these articles?