MobEx - a System for Exploratory Search on the Mobile Web

Günter Neumann; Sven Schmeier
In: Joaquim Filipe; Ana Fred. Agents and Artificial Intelligence. Pages 116-130, Communications in Computers and Information Science (CCIS), Vol. 358, ISBN ISBN 978-3-642-36906-3, Springer, 3/2013.


We present MobEx, a mobile touchable application for exploratory search on the mobile web. The system has been implemented for operation on a tablet computer, i.e. an Apple iPad, and on a mobile device, i.e. Apple iPhone or iPod touch. Starting from a topic issued by the user the system collects web snippets that have been determined by a standard search engine in a first step and extracts associated topics to the initial query in an unsupervised way on-demand and highly performant. This process is recursive in priciple as it furthermore determines other topics associated to the newly found ones and so forth. As a result MobEx creates a dense web of associated topics that is presented to the user as an interactive topic graph. We consider the extraction of topics as a specific empirical collocation extraction task where collocations are extracted between chunks combined with the cluster descriptions of an online clustering algorithm. Our measure of association strength is based on the pointwise mutual information between chunk pairs which explicitly takes their distance into account. These syntactically oriented chunk pairs are then semantically ranked and filtered using the cluster descriptions created by a Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) approach. An initial user evaluation shows that this system is especially helpful for finding new interesting information on topics about which the user has only a vague idea or even no idea at all.



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