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Search User Interfaces by Marti A. Hearst

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6 Query Reformulation

And as noted in Chapter 3, a common search strategy is for the user to first issue a general query, then look at a few results, and if the desired information is not found, to make changes to the query in an attempt to improve the results. This cycle is repeated until the user is satisfied or gives up. The previous two chapters discussed interfaces for query specification and presentation of search results. This chapter discusses the query reformulation step.

6.1. The Need for Reformulation

Examination of search engine query logs suggests a high frequency of query reformulation. One study by Jansen et al. (2005) analyzed 3 million records from a 24 hour snapshot of Web logs taken in 2002 from the AltaVista search engine. ...

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