Knowledge Used for Information Search: A Computer Simulation Study

  • Miki MatsumuroEmail author
  • Kazuhisa Miwa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9734)


In this study, we investigated the types of knowledge utilized by users to search for information. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of acquiring the understanding of a hierarchical information structure. We defined the knowledge about such an information structure as “structural knowledge.” Recently, user interfaces (UIs) have provided information in a more graphical manner. Stimuli on the UIs’ displays have various properties (e.g., format, color, and size). We predicted that these perceptual features of the stimuli on the display, which we defined as “perceptual knowledge,” would be important for information searching. Three computer models were created for simulation: The Structural Knowledge model, which included only structural knowledge; the Perceptual Knowledge model, which included only perceptual knowledge; and the Mixed Knowledge model, which included both perceptual and partial structural knowledge. The simulation results showed that the Mixed Knowledge model could predict how human participants would search for information. We concluded that users utilize both perceptual and structural knowledge to search for information.


Information search Cognitive model Computer simulation User interface 


  1. Amant, T.E., Horton, F.E., Ritter, F.E.: Model-based evaluation of expert cell phone menu interaction. Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. (TOCHI) 14, 1 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J.R., Matessa, M., Lebiere, C.: ACT-R: a theory of higher level cognition and its relation to visual attention. Hum.-Comput. Interact. 12, 439–462 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, J.R.: How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?. Oxford University Press, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benbasat, I., Todd, P.: An experimental investigation of interface design alternatives: icon vs. text and direct manipulation vs. menus. Int. J. Man Mach. Stud. 38, 369–402 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gittins, D.: Icon-based human-computer interaction. Int. J. Man Mach. Stud. 24, 519–543 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jacko, J.A., Salvendy, G.: Hierarchical menu design: breadth, depth, and task complexity. Percept. Mot. Skills 82, 1187–1201 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jiang, Y., Olson, I.R., Chun, M.M.: Organization of visual short-term memory. J. Exp. Psychol.: Learn. Mem. Cogn. 26, 683–702 (2000)Google Scholar
  8. Kirsh, D., Maglio, P.: On distinguishing epistemic from pragmatic action. Cogn. Sci. 18, 513–549 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Parush, A., Shwarts, Y., Shtub, A., Chandra, M.J.: The impact of visual layout factors on performance in web pages: a cross-language study. Hum. Factors: J. Hum. Factors Ergon. Soc. 47, 141–157 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Simon, H.A.: The functional equivalence of problem solving skills. Cogn. Psychol. 7, 268–288 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Sweller, J.: Cognitive load during problem solving: effects on learning. Cogn. Sci. 12, 257–285 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: Mental models of a cellular phone menu. Comparing older and younger novice users. In: Brewster, S., Dunlop, M.D. (eds.) Mobile HCI 2004. LNCS, vol. 3160, pp. 25–37. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: How to overcome disorientation in mobile phone menus: a comparison of two different types of navigation aids. Hum.-Comput. Interact. 21, 393–433 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Information ScienceNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations