Personalizing Atypical Web Search Sessions

Proceedings of the 6th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM '13) |

Published by ACM

Most research in Web search personalization models users as static or slowly evolving entities with a given set of preferences defined by their past behavior. However, recent publications as well as empirical evidence suggest that for a significant number of search sessions, users diverge from their regular search profiles in order to satisfy atypical, limited duration information needs. In this work, we conduct a large-scale inspection of real-life search sessions to further understand this scenario. Subsequently, we design an automatic means of detecting and supporting such atypical sessions. We demonstrate significant improvements over state-of-the-art Web search personalization techniques by accounting for the typicality of search sessions. The proposed method is evaluated based on Web-scale search session data spanning several months of user activity.