Relevance judgments occur within an information search process, where time, context and situation can impact the judgments. The determination of relevance is dependent on a number of factors and variables which include the criteria used to determine relevance. The relevance judgment process and the criteria used to make those judgments are manifestations of the cognitive changes which occur during the information search process.
Understanding why these relevance criteria choices are made, and how they vary over the information search process can provide important information about the dynamic relevance judgment process. This information can be used to guide the development of more adaptive information retrieval systems which respond to the cognitive changes of users during the information search process.
The research data analyzed here was collected in two separate studies which examined a subject’s relevance judgment over an information search process. Statistical analysis was used to examine these results and determine if there were relationships between criteria selections, relevance judgments, and the subject’s progression through the information search process. Findings confirm and extend findings of previous studies, providing strong statistical evidence of an association between the information search process and the choices of relevance criteria by users, and identifying specific changes in the user preferences for specific criteria over the course of the information search process.
Relevance , information retrieval , Information search process , Relevance criteria