Daniel Tunkelang on HCIR in ASIST Bulletin

I’ve been reading many blog posts recently on HCIR and cognate problems, due in no small part to the upcoming HCIR conference and the CFP for the 2nd Workshop on collaborative IR.  But a really clear, high-level articulation of the key factors in HCIR are laid out in Daniel Tunkelang‘s new piece in the ASIST Bulletin, “Reconsidering Relevance and Embracing Interaction.”

Besides a compelling overview of HCIR’s motivations (especially wrt the problematic status of relevance in many IR settings), Daniel offers three hallmarks of HCIR, at least if HCIR is done well.  Systems, Tunkelang suggests, should strive for:

  • transparency:  Communicate why the retrieved documents retrieved.
  • control: Allow the searcher to express (and revise) his or her information need in a way that bears directly on what’s communicated through the transparency mechanisms.
  • guidance: Shepherd searchers through the process of translating information needs into tractable queries.

Of course Daniel’s essay does a better job of describing these imperatives than I have done here.  Check it out.

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