A Quantum-based Model for Interactive Information Retrieval (extended version)


Even the best information retrieval model cannot always identify the most useful answers to a user query. This is in particular the case with web search systems, where it is known that users tend to minimise their effort to access relevant information. It is, however, believed that the interaction between users and a retrieval system, such as a web search engine, can be exploited to provide better answers to users. Interactive Information Retrieval (IR) systems, in which users access information through a series of interactions with the search system, are concerned with building models for IR, where interaction plays a central role. There are many possible interactions between a user and a search system, ranging from query (re)formulation to relevance feedback. However, capturing them within a single framework is difficult and previously proposed approaches have mostly focused on relevance feedback. In this paper, we propose a general framework for interactive IR that is able to capture the full interaction process in a principled way. Our approach relies upon a generalisation of the probability framework of quantum physics, whose strong geometric component can be a key towards a successful interactive IR model.