Supporting navigation in Wikipedia by information visualization: Extended evaluation measures

I. Chin Wu*, Pertti Vakkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The authors introduce two semantics-based navigation applications that facilitate information-seeking activities in internal link-based web sites in Wikipedia. These applications aim to help users find concepts within a topic and related articles on a given topic quickly and then gain topical knowledge from internal link-based encyclopedia web sites. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: The WNavis application consists of three information visualization (IV) tools which are a topic network, a hierarchy topic tree and summaries for topics. The WikiMap application consists of a topic network. The goal of the topic network and topic tree tools is to help users to find the major concepts of a topic and identify relationships between these major concepts easily. In addition, in order to locate specific information and enable users to explore and read topic-related articles quickly, the topic tree and summaries for topics tools support users to gain topical knowledge quickly. The authors then apply the k-clique of cohesive indicator to analyze the sub topics of the seed query and find out the best clustering results via the cosine measure. The authors utilize four metrics, which are correctness, time cost, usage behaviors, and satisfaction, to evaluate the three interfaces. These metrics measure both the outputs and outcomes of applications. As a baseline system for evaluation the authors used a traditional Wikipedia interface. For the evaluation, the authors used an experimental user study with 30 participants. Findings: The results indicate that both WikiMap and WNavis supported users to identify concepts and their relations better compared to the baseline. In topical tasks WNavis over performed both WikiMap and the baseline system. Although there were no time differences in finding concepts or answering topical questions, the test systems provided users with a greater gain per time unit. The users of WNavis leaned on the hierarchy tree instead of other tools, whereas WikiMap users used the topic map. Research limitations/implications: The findings have implications for the design of IR support tools in knowledge-intensive web sites that help users to explore topics and concepts. Originality/value: The authors explored to what extent the use of each IV support tool contributed to successful exploration of topics in search tasks. The authors propose extended task-based evaluation measures to understand how each application provides useful context for users to accomplish the tasks and attain the search goals. That is, the authors not only evaluate the output of the search results, e.g. the number of relevant items retrieved, but also the outcome provided by the system for assisting users to attain the search goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-424
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Evaluation
  • Information visualization tools
  • Navigation
  • Wikipedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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