Anatomy and Empirical Evaluation of an Adaptive Web-Based Information Filtering System

  • Alessandro Micarelli
  • Filippo Sciarrone


A case study in adaptive information filtering systems for the Web is presented. The described system comprises two main modules, named HUMOS and WIFS. HUMOS is a user modeling system based on stereotypes. It builds and maintains long term models of individual Internet users, representing their information needs. The user model is structured as a frame containing informative words, enhanced with semantic networks. The proposed machine learning approach for the user modeling process is based on the use of an artificial neural network for stereotype assignments. WIFS is a content-based information filtering module, capable of selecting html/text documents on computer science collected from the Web according to the interests of the user. It has been created for the very purpose of the structure of the user model utilized by HUMOS. Currently, this system acts as an adaptive interface to the Web search engine ALTA VISTATM. An empirical evaluation of the system has been made in experimental settings. The experiments focused on the evaluation, by means of a non-parametric statistics approach, of the added value in terms of system performance given by the user modeling component; it also focused on the evaluation of the usability and user acceptance of the system. The results of the experiments are satisfactory and support the choice of a user model-based approach to information filtering on the Web.

artificial neural networks case-based reasoning empirical methods information filtering user modeling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Micarelli
    • 1
  • Filippo Sciarrone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Automation, Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryUniversity of Roma TreRomeItaly

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