Personalizing Web Search: Communities and Collaboration

Barry Smyth

Conservative estimates of the Web's current size refer to its 10 billion documents and a growth rate that tops 60 terabytes of new information per day. In 2000 the entire World-Wide Web consisted of just 21 terabytes of information, now it grows by 3 times this every single day. This growth frames the information overload problem that is threatening to stall the information revolution going forward. In short, users are finding it increasingly difficult to locate the right information at the right time in the right way. Search engine technologies are struggling to cope with the sheer quantity of information that is available, a problem that is greatly exacerbated by the apparent inability of Web users to formulate effective search queries that accurately reflect their current information needs. This talk will focus on how so-called personalization techniques are being used in response to the information overload problem and the experiences gained and lessons learned when it comes to the deployment of these techniques. In particular, we will focus on the personalization of Web search, taking special care to consider the important privacy issues that such personalization brings to the fore. These issues motivate a unique approach to personalized Web search - Collaborative Web Search (CWS) - which focuses on the delivery of personalization at the level of a community of like-minded searchers.

Subjects: 1.10 Information Retrieval

Submitted: Feb 13, 2006

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