Usability of Keyword-Driven Schema-Agnostic Search

A Comparative Study of Keyword Search, Faceted Search, Query Completion and Result Completion
  • Thanh Tran
  • Tobias Mathäß
  • Peter Haase
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6089)


The increasing amount of data on the Web bears potential for addressing complex information needs more effectively. Instead of keyword search and browsing along links between results, users can specify the needs in terms of complex queries and obtain precise answers right away. However, users might not always know the query language and more importantly, the schema underlying the data. Motivated by the burden facing the data Web search users in specifying complex information needs, we identify a particular class of search approaches that follow a paradigm that we refer to as schema-agnostic. Common to these search approaches is that no knowledge about the schema is required to specify complex information needs. We have conducted a systematic study of four popular approaches: (1) simple keyword search, (2) faceted search, (3) result completion, which is based on computing complex answers as candidate results for user provided keywords, and (4) query completion, which is based on computing structured queries as candidate interpretations of user provided keywords. We study these approaches from a process-oriented view to derive the main conceptual steps required for addressing complex information needs. Then, we perform an experimental study based on established conduct of a task-based evaluation to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and usability.


Keyword Search Complex Information Inverted Index Keyword Query Conjunctive Query 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thanh Tran
    • 1
  • Tobias Mathäß
    • 2
  • Peter Haase
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute AIFBKITKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.fluid OperationsWalldorfGermany

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