Information Foraging Theory: Adaptive Interaction with Information

Paperback | May 30, 2009

byPeter L. T. Pirolli

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Although much of the hubris and hyperbole surrounding the 1990's Internet has softened to a reasonable level, the inexorable momentum of information growth continues unabated. This wealth of information provides resources for adapting to the problems posed by our increasingly complex world,but the simple availability of more information does not guarantee its successful transformation into valuable knowledge that shapes, guides, and improves our activity. When faced with something like the analysis of sense-making behavior on the web, traditional research models tell us a lot aboutlearning and performance with browser operations, but very little about how people will actively navigate and search through information structures, what information they will choose to consume, and what conceptual models they will induce about the landscape of cyberspace. Thus, it is fortunate that a new field of research, Adaptive Information Interaction (AII), is becoming possible. AII centers on the problems of understanding and improving human-information interaction. It is about how people will best shape themselves to their information environments, and howinformation environments can best be shaped to people. Its roots lie in human-computer interaction (HCI), information retrieval, and the behavioral and social sciences. This book is about Information Foraging Theory (IFT), a new theory in Adaptive Information Interaction that is one example of a recent flourish of theories in adaptationist psychology that draw upon evolutionary-ecological theory in biology. IFT assumes that people (indeed, all organisms) areecologically rational, and that human information-seeking mechanisms and strategies adapt the structure of the information environments in which they operate. Its main aim is to create technology that is better shaped to users. Information Foraging Theory will be of interest to student andprofessional researchers in HCI and cognitive psychology.

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Although much of the hubris and hyperbole surrounding the 1990's Internet has softened to a reasonable level, the inexorable momentum of information growth continues unabated. This wealth of information provides resources for adapting to the problems posed by our increasingly complex world,but the simple availability of more informatio...

Peter Pirolli is a Research Fellow in the User Interface Research Area at the Palo Alto Research Center where he has been pursuing studies of human information interaction since 1991. He is an elected Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction Academy, the American Association for the Advancement of S...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 6.89 × 9.88 × 0.71 inPublished:May 30, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195387791

ISBN - 13:9780195387797

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Table of Contents

1. Information Foraging Theory: Framework and Method2. Elementary Foraging Models3. The Ecology of Information Foraging on the World Wide Web4. Rational Analyses of Information Scent and Web Foraging5. A Cognitive Model of Information Foraging on the Web6. A Rational Analysis and Computational Cognitive Model of the Scatter/Gather Document Cluster Browser7. Stochastic Models of Information Foraging by Information Scent8. Social Information Foraging9. Design Heuristics, Engineering Models, and Applications10. Future Directions: Upward, Downward, Inward, and Outward

Editorial Reviews

"...a very interesting read...Pirolli's groundbreaking work and his "ah-ha" insight, since the late 1980s, occurred in just the environment that was needed for this insight to emerge...I applaud Pirolli and his having gone walkabout, shopping in the outback." --PsycCritiques