Supporting Cross-Device Web Search with Social Navigation-Based Mobile Touch Interactions

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9146)


The wide adoption of smartphones eliminates the time and location barriers for people’s daily information access, but also limits users’ information exploration activities due to the small mobile screen size. Thus, cross-device web search, where people initialize information needs on one device but complete them on another device, is frequently observed in modern search engines, especially for exploratory information needs. This paper aims to support the cross-device web search, on top of the commonly used context-sensitive retrieval framework, for exploratory tasks. To better model users’ search context, our method not only utilizes the search history (query history and click-through) but also employs the mobile touch interactions (MTI) on mobile devices. To be more specific, we combine MTI’s ability of locating relevant subdocument content [10] with the idea of social navigation that aggregates MTIs from other users who visit the same page. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, we designed a user study to collect cross-device web search logs on three different types of tasks from 24 participants and then compared our approach with two baselines: a traditional full text based relevance feedback approach and a self-MTI based subdocument relevance feedback approach. Our results show that the social navigation-based MTIs outperformed both baselines. A further analysis shows that the performance improvements are related to several factors, including the quality and quantity of click-through documents, task types and users’ search conditions.


Mobile touch interaction Cross-device web search Social navigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Yahoo! LabsSunnyvaleUSA

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