From “Selena Gomez” to “Marlon Brando”: Understanding Explorative Entity Search

Mar 17, 2015

Consider a user who submits a search query "Shakira" having a specific search goal in mind (such as her age) but at the same time willing to explore information for other entities related to her, such as comparable singers. In previous work, a system called Spark, was developed to provide such search experience. Given a query submitted to the Yahoo search engine, Spark provides related entity suggestions for the query, exploiting, among else, public knowledge bases from the Semantic Web. We refer to this search scenario as explorative entity search. The effectiveness and efficiency of the approach has been demonstrated in previous work. The way users interact with these related entity suggestions and whether this interaction can be predicted have however not been studied. In this paper, we perform a large-scale analysis into how users interact with the entity results returned by Spark. We characterize the users, queries and sessions that appear to promote an explorative behavior. Based on this analysis, we develop a set of query and user-based features that reflect the click behavior of users and explore their effectiveness in the context of a prediction task.

  • 24th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2015), Florence, Italy
  • Conference/Workshop Paper