CURIOUS BROWSERS: Automated gathering of implicit interest indicators by an instrumented browser
Speaker: David Brown & Mark Claypool , Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Date: October 17 2003
Recommender systems provide personalized suggestions about items that users will find interesting. Typically, recommender systems require a user interface that can "intelligently" determine the interest of a user and use this information to make suggestions. The common solution, "explicit ratings", where users tell the system what they think about a piece of information, is well-understood and fairly precise. However, having to stop to enter explicit ratings can alter normal patterns of browsing and reading.
A more intelligent method is to use implicit ratings, where a rating is obtained by a method other than obtaining it directly from the user. Unfortunately, the ability of implicit ratings to predict actual user interest is not yet well-understood. Our research studies the correlation between various implicit ratings and the explicit rating for single Web pages.
We developed a Web browser, called the Curious Browser, to record various user actions (implicit ratings) during browsing and solicit explicit ratings for each page. The Curious Browser captures mouse clicks, mouse movements, scrolling and elapsed time. This was subsequently extended to include additional indicators such as mouse wheel activity, status bar changes, the size of the HTML file, the user's familiarity with the page, and a trace of the mouse coordinates.
Bio (David C. Brown)
David Brown is Professor of Computer Science and has a collaborative appointment as Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has B.Sc., M.Sc., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science, and is a member of the ACM, IEEE Computer Society, AAAI, and IFIP WG 5.2. He was a consultant on the manufacturing applications of AI at Digital Equipment Corporation. He is the Editor of the Cambridge UP journal AIEDAM: AI in Engineering, Design, Analysis and Manufacturing; and is on the Editorial Boards of several Journals, including: Concurrent Engineering: Research and Application; Research in Engineering Design and the International Journal of Design Computing. He is a Vice Chair of the AI in Design conferences, was Local Chair of AID'00, and is a member of the Advisory Committees for the AI in Engineering and IFIP WG 5.2 Conferences. Dr. Brown's research interests include computational models of engineering design, and the applications of Artificial Intelligence to Engineering and Manufacturing. He is the author, with B. Chandrasekaran, of the book Design Problem Solving: Knowledge Structures and Control Strategies, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc., and a co-editor of Intelligent Computer Aided Design, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (North-Holland). He is the founder of the AI in Design Webliography.
Bio (Mark Claypool)
Mark Claypool received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1997. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research interestes include Multimedia Networking, Congestion Control and Information Filtering. In his spare time, Mark plays with his computers, his dog and his kids (not necessarily in that order).
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