The Web Science Trust

Finding Information Again Using An Individual’s Web History

Ruddle, Roy (2009) Finding Information Again Using An Individual’s Web History. In: Proceedings of the WebSci'09: Society On-Line, 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece. (In Press)

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In a lifetime, an "average" person will visit approximately a million webpages. Sometimes a person finds they want to return to a given page at some future date but, having no recollection of where it was (URL, host, etc.) and so has to look for it again from scratch. This paper assesses how a person's memory could be assisted by the presentation of a "map" of their web browsing activity. Three map organisation approaches were investigated: (i) time-based, (ii) place-based, and (iii) topic-based. Time-based organisation is the least suitable, because the temporal specificity of human memory is generally poor. Place-based approaches lack scalability, and are not helped by the fact that there is little repetition in the paths a person follows between places. Topic-based organisation is more promising, with topics derived from both the web content that is accessed and the search queries that are executed, which provide snapshots into a person's cognitive processes by explicitly capturing the terminology of "what" they were looking for at that moment in time. In terms of presentation, a map that combines aspects of network connectivity with a space filling approach is likely to be most effective.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Navigation, Web history, Information retrieval
Subjects:Web Science Events > Web Science 2009
ID Code:168
Deposited By: W S T Administrator
Deposited On:24 Jan 2009 08:45
Last Modified:25 Oct 2011 16:50

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