From Queries to Cards: Re-ranking Proactive Card Recommendations Based on Reactive Search History

Milad Shokouhi, Qi Guo

Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR2015) |

Published by ACM - Association for Computing Machinery

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The growing accessibility of mobile devices has substantially reformed the way users access information. While the reactive search by query remains as common as before, recent years have witnessed the emergence of various proactive systems such as Google Now and Microsoft Cortana. In these systems, relevant content is presented to users based on their context without a query. Interestingly, despite the increasing popularity of such services, there is very little known about how users interact with them.

In this paper, we present the first study on user interactions with information cards. We demonstrate that the usage patterns of these cards vary depending on time and location. We also show that while overall different topics are clicked by users on proactive and reactive platforms, the topics of the clicked documents by the same user tend to be consistent cross-platform. Furthermore, we propose a supervised framework for re-ranking proactive cards based on the user’s context and past history. To train our models, we use the viewport duration and clicks to infer pseudo-relevance labels for the cards. Our results suggest that the quality of card ranking can be significantly improved particularly when the user’s reactive search history is matched against the proactive data about the cards.