Shahin Rahbariasl, Master’s candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
Assessors who judge the relevance of documents to the search topics and perform the relevance assessment process are one of the main parts of Information Retrieval (IR) systems evaluations. They play a significant role in making test collections which can be used in evaluations and system designs. Relevance assessment is also highly important for e-discovery, where relevant documents and materials should be found with acceptable cost and in an efficient way. In order to study the relevance judging behavior of assessors better, we conducted a user study to further examine the effects of time constraints and document excerpts on relevance behavior.
Participants were shown either full documents or document excerpts that they had to judge within 15, 30, or 60 seconds time constraint per document. For producing document excerpts or paragraph-long summaries, we have used algorithms to extract what a model of relevance considers most relevant from a full document. We found that the quality of judging slightly differs within each time constraint but not significantly. While time constraints have little effect on the quality of judging, they can increase the judging speed rate of the assessors. We also found that assessors perform as good and in most cases better if shown a paragraph-long document excerpt instead of a full document, therefore, they have the potential to replace full documents in relevance assessment. Since document excerpts are significantly faster to judge, we conclude that showing document excerpts or summaries to the assessors can lead to better quality of judging with less cost and effort.
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