Emotional behaviour seems to be ubiquitous on the web. Predictably, social media web genres such as tweets, blog posts and blog comments show high emotional involvement. What about other genres on the web? In this talk, the focus is on the search query log genre. According to recent IR research, searchers’ behaviour is not only limited to traditional informational, navigational and transactional needs. A novel hypothesis is that the seeking behaviour is driven by emotion. But can emotion be detected by analysing the queries typed by users in a search box? In this talk, I will present the results of some experiments carried out to investigate whether it is possible to identify emotion in the query log genre, and discuss how emotion could be utilized to improve the relevance of retrieved documents in searches. These experiments are part of SearchInFocus, a study centred on search.
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