Browsing a document collection represented in two- and three-dimensional virtual information space

Westerman, S J, Collins, Julie and Cribbin, T (2005) Browsing a document collection represented in two- and three-dimensional virtual information space. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 62 (6). pp. 713-736. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2005.02.001

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This paper reports a study of information retrieval performance using an interface in which documents were represented by objects in a virtual environment. Spatial location was determined by semantic content, with inter-object distance representing semantic similarity of documents. The quality of spatial-semantic mapping was manipulated as was the number of dimensions (two versus three) in which document nodes were arranged. Participants were required to browse the information space and identify all documents relevant to a specified topic. Results indicated that participants were able to use three-dimensional spatial mapping of semantic information to facilitate task performance, with performance being better when the quality of the mapping was higher. Strategy differences were identified, with participants adopting a more ‘exhaustive’ approach when searching two-dimensional node arrangements, and a more ‘focused’ approach for three-dimensional arrangements. Cognitive ability was not strongly associated with task performance, but participants of relatively lower cognitive ability tended to out-perform those of higher cognitive ability in three-dimensional conditions. Possible reasons for these findings are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information retrieval; Information visualization; Individual differences
Related URLs:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Julie Collins
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2015 12:37
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:05

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