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The Economics of Interaction: How We Can Use Microeconomics to Describe System Interaction

The Economics of Interaction: How We Can Use Microeconomics to Describe the Interaction Between User and SystemA Google Tech TalkJune 7, 2012Presented by Leif AzzopardiABSTRACTSearching 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.Link to Paper:http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2009923About the Speaker: Leif Azzopardi, Glasgow Information Retrieval Group, University of Glasgow (UK)Dr. Leif Azzopardi is a Lecturer within the Glasgow Information Retrieval Group and a full time academic member of staff within the School of Computing Science, at the University of Glasgow. His latest research focuses on using Microeconomic Theory to model the interaction between users and information retrieval systems. Central to his research is the theoretical development of statistical language models for Information Retrieval, where his research interests include:Models for the retrieval of documents, sentences, experts and other information objectsProbabilistic models of user interaction and the simulation of users for evaluationMicroeconomic models of information interaction, specifically how cognitive load and effort affect interaction and performance with search systemsMethods for text and data mining of large scale/big data collectionsMethods which assess the impact of search technology on society in application areas such as, search engine bias and the accessibility of E-Government informationHe received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Paisley in 2005, and he received a First Class Honours Degree in Information Science from the University of Newcastle, Australia, 2001.http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~leif
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