Interactive Search vs. Automatic Search : An Extensive Study on Video Retrieval

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Journal / PublicationACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number2
Online published10 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


This article conducts user evaluation to study the performance difference between interactive and automatic search. Particularly, the study aims to provide empirical insights of how the performance landscape of video search changes, with tens of thousands of concept detectors freely available to exploit for query formulation. We compare three types of search modes: free-to-play (i.e., search from scratch), non-free-to-play (i.e., search by inspecting results provided by automatic search), and automatic search including concept-free and concept-based retrieval paradigms. The study involves a total of 40 participants; each performs interactive search over 15 queries of various difficulty levels using two search modes on the IACC.3 dataset provided by TRECVid organizers. The study suggests that the performance of automatic search is still far behind interactive search. Furthermore, providing users with the result of automatic search for exploration does not show obvious advantage over asking users to search from scratch. The study also analyzes user behavior to reveal insights of how users compose queries, browse results, and discover new query terms for search, which can serve as guideline for future research of both interactive and automatic search.

Research Area(s)

  • ad hoc video search, automatic search, interactive search, user study, Video retrieval

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