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Politecnico Di Milano
      Dipartimento Di Elettronica e Informazione




     Answering Search Queries
        with CrowdSearcher
             A crowdsourcing approach to search



Alessandro Bozzon, Marco Brambilla, Stefano Ceri

WWW 2012, Lyon, France
April, 20th 2012
Context
• Web is a huge, heterogeneous data source:
  • Structured, unstructured and semi-structured data
  • Known problems of trust, reputation, consistency


• User needs to solve real-life problems, not to find a web site




                                      Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Context




          Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Context




• User needs to solve real-life problems, not to find a web site
  • Web queries get increasingly complex and specialized
  • Exploratory search
  • From document search to object search


• Search as a service
  • Viability of systems based upon search service orchestration


                                      Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Background: semantic multi-domain search
“… search for upcoming concerts close to an attractive location (like a
 beach, lake, mountain, natural park, and so on), considering also
 availability of good, close-by hotels …”




                                     Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Background: semantic multi-domain search




 “… expand the search to get information about available restaurants
  near the candidate concert locations, news associated to the event and
  possible options to combine further events …”

                                   Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Liquid Query:
Query Submission                                               [WWW
2010]

  Example Scenario 1: Trip planner for events




           Concert                              Hotels
        query conditions                    query conditions
                                    Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Liquid Query:
Query Execution




                  Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Liquid Query: alternative visualizations
and domain-independent platform
Example Scenario 2: Scientific Publication search




                                     Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Problem Statement
• When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web
  completely
  • Want to go back to discussion with people
  • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance




                                     Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Problem Statement
• When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web
  completely
  • Want to go back to discussion with people
  • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance




                                     Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Problem Statement
• When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web
  completely
  • Want to go back to discussion with people
  • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance


• Our proposal


              Interleaving and integration
                  of exploratory search
             and social community input

                                     Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Social Search: increasing quality in search

• From exploratory search to friends and experts feedback

                Initial
                query

                                       Exploration
                      Exploratory         step           Human
                        Search                           Search
                       System                            System


                                           Exploration
                                           step

                      System API                         Social API


                          Database /                         Crowd /
                          IR index                           Community


                                            Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
From crowds to communities –
The problems

• Crowds vs. social networks
  • Friends or workforce?
• Complex interleaving of factors. Including:
  • Intensity of social activity of the asker
  • Motivation of the responders
  • Topic
  • Information diffusion
  • Timing of the post (hour of the day, day of the week)
  • Context and language barrier




                                            Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Task management problems

Typical crowdsourcing problems:
• Task splitting: the input data collection is too complex relative to the cognitive
  capabilities of users.
• Task structuring: the query is too complex or too critical to be executed in
  one shot.
• Task routing: a query can be distributed according to the values of some
  attribute of the collection.


Plus:
• Platform/community assignment: a task can be assigned to different
 communities or social platforms based on its focus



                                          Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Social Search – query properties

• Invited community


• Engagement platform


• Execution platform


• Query type: Like, Add, Sort / Rank, Comment, Modify


• Visibility: public or private


• Diffusion: enabled or not


• Timespan

                                       Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Deployment: search on the social network
• Multi-platform deployment
                           Generated query template




             Embedded              External
                                    Native               Standalone
             application          application            application

                                   API
         Social/ Crowd platform
                                              Native
              Embedding                     behaviours




                                                Community / Crowd
                                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Deployment: search on the social network
• Multi-platform deployment




                              Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Deployment: search on the social network
• Multi-platform deployment




                              Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Deployment: search on the social network
• Multi-platform deployment




                              Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Deployment: search on the social network
• Multi-platform deployment




                              Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Example: Find your next job (exploration)




                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Example: Find your job (social invitation)




                          Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Example: Find your job (social invitation)




 Selected data items
  can be transferred
to the crowd question

                              Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Find your job (response submission)




                        Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experimental setting
• Some 150 users
• Two classes of experiments:
  • Random questions on fixed topics: interests (e.g. restaurants in the vicinity
    of Politecnico), to famous 2011 songs, or to top-quality EU soccer teams
  • Questions independently submitted by the users
• Different invitation strategies:
  • Random invitation
  • Explicit selection of responders by the asker
• Outcome
  • 175 like and insert queries
  • 1536 invitations to friends
  • 95 questions (~55%) got at least one answer
  • 230 collected answers
                                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiments: Manual and random questions




                      Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiments: Interest and relationship

• Manually written and assigned questions
  are consistently more responded in time




                                       Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiments: Query type

• Engagement depends on the difficulty of the task
• Like vs. Add tasks:




                                        Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiments: Distribution of answers/invitation




• Sometimes: more answers than invitations (limited cases)

                                       Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiment: Social platform

• The question enactment platform role
• Facebook vs. Doodle




                                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiment: Social platform

• The question enactment platform role
• Facebook vs. Doodle




                                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Experiment: Posting time

• The question enactment platform role
• Facebook vs. Doodle




                                         Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
Conclusions and future work
Status
• the chances to get responses depend a lot on the consistency of
  the users’ community and on the mechanisms that are exploited
  for inviting the users and for collecting the responses


Future work
• More experiments (e.g., vs. sociality of users, vs. crowds, …)
• Not only search: active integration of web structured data and
  social sensors


Some ads
• Search Computing book series (Springer LNCS)
• Workshop Very Large Data Search at VLDB
• VLDB Journal special issue (deadline Sept 2012)

                                             Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
www.search-computing.org
                            @searchcomputing

Thanks!


Questions?




  @marcobrambi
  marco.brambilla@polimi.it

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Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher: a crowdsourcing and social network approach to search

  • 1. Politecnico Di Milano Dipartimento Di Elettronica e Informazione Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher A crowdsourcing approach to search Alessandro Bozzon, Marco Brambilla, Stefano Ceri WWW 2012, Lyon, France April, 20th 2012
  • 2. Context • Web is a huge, heterogeneous data source: • Structured, unstructured and semi-structured data • Known problems of trust, reputation, consistency • User needs to solve real-life problems, not to find a web site Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 3. Context Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 4. Context • User needs to solve real-life problems, not to find a web site • Web queries get increasingly complex and specialized • Exploratory search • From document search to object search • Search as a service • Viability of systems based upon search service orchestration Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 5. Background: semantic multi-domain search “… search for upcoming concerts close to an attractive location (like a beach, lake, mountain, natural park, and so on), considering also availability of good, close-by hotels …” Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 6. Background: semantic multi-domain search “… expand the search to get information about available restaurants near the candidate concert locations, news associated to the event and possible options to combine further events …” Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 7. Liquid Query: Query Submission [WWW 2010] Example Scenario 1: Trip planner for events Concert Hotels query conditions query conditions Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 8. Liquid Query: Query Execution Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 9. Liquid Query: alternative visualizations and domain-independent platform Example Scenario 2: Scientific Publication search Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 10. Problem Statement • When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web completely • Want to go back to discussion with people • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 11. Problem Statement • When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web completely • Want to go back to discussion with people • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 12. Problem Statement • When dealing with real-life problems, people do not trust the web completely • Want to go back to discussion with people • Expect insights, opinions, reassurance • Our proposal Interleaving and integration of exploratory search and social community input Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 13. Social Search: increasing quality in search • From exploratory search to friends and experts feedback Initial query Exploration Exploratory step Human Search Search System System Exploration step System API Social API Database / Crowd / IR index Community Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 14. From crowds to communities – The problems • Crowds vs. social networks • Friends or workforce? • Complex interleaving of factors. Including: • Intensity of social activity of the asker • Motivation of the responders • Topic • Information diffusion • Timing of the post (hour of the day, day of the week) • Context and language barrier Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 15. Task management problems Typical crowdsourcing problems: • Task splitting: the input data collection is too complex relative to the cognitive capabilities of users. • Task structuring: the query is too complex or too critical to be executed in one shot. • Task routing: a query can be distributed according to the values of some attribute of the collection. Plus: • Platform/community assignment: a task can be assigned to different communities or social platforms based on its focus Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 16. Social Search – query properties • Invited community • Engagement platform • Execution platform • Query type: Like, Add, Sort / Rank, Comment, Modify • Visibility: public or private • Diffusion: enabled or not • Timespan Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 17. Deployment: search on the social network • Multi-platform deployment Generated query template Embedded External Native Standalone application application application API Social/ Crowd platform Native Embedding behaviours Community / Crowd Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 18. Deployment: search on the social network • Multi-platform deployment Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 19. Deployment: search on the social network • Multi-platform deployment Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 20. Deployment: search on the social network • Multi-platform deployment Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 21. Deployment: search on the social network • Multi-platform deployment Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 22. Example: Find your next job (exploration) Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 23. Example: Find your job (social invitation) Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 24. Example: Find your job (social invitation) Selected data items can be transferred to the crowd question Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 25. Find your job (response submission) Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 26. Experimental setting • Some 150 users • Two classes of experiments: • Random questions on fixed topics: interests (e.g. restaurants in the vicinity of Politecnico), to famous 2011 songs, or to top-quality EU soccer teams • Questions independently submitted by the users • Different invitation strategies: • Random invitation • Explicit selection of responders by the asker • Outcome • 175 like and insert queries • 1536 invitations to friends • 95 questions (~55%) got at least one answer • 230 collected answers Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 27. Experiments: Manual and random questions Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 28. Experiments: Interest and relationship • Manually written and assigned questions are consistently more responded in time Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 29. Experiments: Query type • Engagement depends on the difficulty of the task • Like vs. Add tasks: Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 30. Experiments: Distribution of answers/invitation • Sometimes: more answers than invitations (limited cases) Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 31. Experiment: Social platform • The question enactment platform role • Facebook vs. Doodle Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 32. Experiment: Social platform • The question enactment platform role • Facebook vs. Doodle Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 33. Experiment: Posting time • The question enactment platform role • Facebook vs. Doodle Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 34. Conclusions and future work Status • the chances to get responses depend a lot on the consistency of the users’ community and on the mechanisms that are exploited for inviting the users and for collecting the responses Future work • More experiments (e.g., vs. sociality of users, vs. crowds, …) • Not only search: active integration of web structured data and social sensors Some ads • Search Computing book series (Springer LNCS) • Workshop Very Large Data Search at VLDB • VLDB Journal special issue (deadline Sept 2012) Answering Search Queries with CrowdSearcher
  • 35. www.search-computing.org @searchcomputing Thanks! Questions? @marcobrambi marco.brambilla@polimi.it