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Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search
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Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search

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The visualization of results is a critical component in search engines, and the standard ranked list interface has been a consistently predominant model. The emergence of social media provides a new …

The visualization of results is a critical component in search engines, and the standard ranked list interface has been a consistently predominant model. The emergence of social media provides a new opportunity to investigate visualization techniques that expose socially derived links between objects to support their exploration. Here we introduce and evaluate network-based visualizations for facilitating the exploration of a Web knowledge space. We developed a force directed network interface to visualize the result sets provided by GiveALink.org, a social bookmarking site. The classifications and tags by users are aggregated to build a social similarity network between bookmarked resources. We administered a user study to evaluate the potential of leveraging such social links in an exploratory search task. During exploration, the similarity links are used to arrange the resources in a semantic layout. Users in our study prefer a hybrid interface combining a conventional ranked list and a two dimensional network map, allowing them to find the same amount of relevant information using fewer queries. This behavior is a direct result of the additional structural information present in the network visualization, which aids them in the exploration of the information space.

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  • 1. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer ISI Foundation Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 2. Demo Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 3. 1 Background Social Linking in Other Domains Information Retrieval: Indexed vs. Exploratory Search 2 Social Linking Motivation 3 Study Overview 4 Interface Evaluation User Study 5 Review of Findings: More Found Information or More Efficiency? Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 4. ArtistNet Demo Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 5. Exploratory vs. Indexed Search Gary Marchionini; Commun. ACM (2006): 41-46 Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 6. Other Visual Network Search Interfaces/Research Our work differs in a few important ways, we Use an undirected, exploration-based user study focus, rather than goal-oriented “hunt” for specific pieces of information. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 7. Other Visual Network Search Interfaces/Research Our work differs in a few important ways, we Use an undirected, exploration-based user study focus, rather than goal-oriented “hunt” for specific pieces of information. Use a less structured interactive result interface, allowing for user orientation and arrangement of results and navigation. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 8. Other Visual Network Search Interfaces/Research Our work differs in a few important ways, we Use an undirected, exploration-based user study focus, rather than goal-oriented “hunt” for specific pieces of information. Use a less structured interactive result interface, allowing for user orientation and arrangement of results and navigation. Leverage social link similarity data rather than content similarity data. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 9. Similarity network in GiveALink Markines et al. Hypertext 2008 Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 10. Motivation Can we help exploratory search of results by leveraging social link data? Support exploratory search interfaces in the Web. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 11. Motivation Can we help exploratory search of results by leveraging social link data? Support exploratory search interfaces in the Web. Form an evaluation framework for socially-driven exploratory navigation. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 12. Determining and Measuring Interface Performance What are we trying to prove/improve? Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 13. Determining and Measuring Interface Performance What are we trying to prove/improve? Measure annotations and queries as an indication of quality of results and quantity of effort (resp.) between several different (3 for our study) interface approaches. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 14. Determining and Measuring Interface Performance What are we trying to prove/improve? Measure annotations and queries as an indication of quality of results and quantity of effort (resp.) between several different (3 for our study) interface approaches. Keep the features of all interfaces equal. Remove “snippet text” describing each page from the results. Add “thumbnail hover previews” which act as visual summaries of a webpage. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 15. User Study Open web-based participant user study conducted with 64 individuals. Users are randomly assigned one of three interfaces to perform exploratory search Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 16. User Study Open web-based participant user study conducted with 64 individuals. Users are randomly assigned one of three interfaces to perform exploratory search They choose from the following open-ended topics: American presidential elections electoral colleges Alternative energy sources Artificial life Impressionism Partial differential equations Communism socialism fascism democracy Lung cancer Cosmic background radiation Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 17. User Study Open web-based participant user study conducted with 64 individuals. Users are randomly assigned one of three interfaces to perform exploratory search They choose from the following open-ended topics: American presidential elections electoral colleges Alternative energy sources Artificial life Impressionism Partial differential equations Communism socialism fascism democracy Lung cancer Cosmic background radiation They query a topic, explore results, and annotate relevant information Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 18. User Study Open web-based participant user study conducted with 64 individuals. Users are randomly assigned one of three interfaces to perform exploratory search They choose from the following open-ended topics: American presidential elections electoral colleges Alternative energy sources Artificial life Impressionism Partial differential equations Communism socialism fascism democracy Lung cancer Cosmic background radiation They query a topic, explore results, and annotate relevant information They answer supplementary exit questions Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 19. Map Interface Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 20. List Interface Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 21. Hybrid Interface Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 22. Annotation Frame (All Interfaces) Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 23. Annotations per Session How did the different interfaces affect the number of annotations? Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 24. Annotations per Session How did the different interfaces affect the number of annotations? Users did not produce significantly more annotations on average with any method (p > 0.7). Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 25. Queries per Session Hybrid is better than list (p = 0.03), no other significant differentiations (p > 0.15) Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 26. Interface Helped Hybrid vs. List p = 0.02, no other significant differentiations (p > 0.13). Results are for users who submitted more than one query. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 27. Review of Findings The results of our web-based participant study. Participants needed fewer queries to find the same amount of useful/interesting information (generate annotations). Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 28. Review of Findings The results of our web-based participant study. Participants needed fewer queries to find the same amount of useful/interesting information (generate annotations). Participants evaluated the hybrid interface better than the list interface alone. Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer
  • 29. Review of Findings The results of our web-based participant study. Participants needed fewer queries to find the same amount of useful/interesting information (generate annotations). Participants evaluated the hybrid interface better than the list interface alone. Questions? Visualizing Social Links in Exploratory Search Justin Donaldson, Michael Conover, Ben Markines, Heather Roinestad, and Filippo Menczer