07.06.2018 change 07.06.2018

A new method of visualizing Internet search results

Jarosław Andrzejczak. Photo: own archive Jarosław Andrzejczak. Photo: own archive

You can search for information online faster and more conveniently. An innovative method of interactive visualization of Internet search results may help. The method has been developed by a researcher from Łódź.

According to the author of the solution, it will allow to shorten the time required to reach the desired information and improve the search experience.

Internet users encounter different types of Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) on a daily basis: by entering keywords in Google search, searching for a book in a library through the online system or browsing the content of a news website. The presentation of results practically has not changed since the first search engine appeared in the 1990s. It is still a text interface using lists and tables.

People generate more and more information today, especially digital information. According to Dr. Jarosław Andrzejczak from the Faculty of Technical Physics, Information Technology and Applied Mathematics, Lodz University of Technology, presentation in the form of tables, lists and charts is insufficient in many cases. The development of the Internet has led to the fact that there are a lot more sources of information, and hence more results for a given query in the search engine, than at the time of the development of the search result pages (SERP).

The computer scientist from Łódź has developed a method of interactive visualization of information called Cassiopeia Graph, which - in his opinion - combines the advantages of both classic SERP and visualization of information, while eliminating the disadvantages of static lists of search results.

"My solution uses the potential of human visual perception in the process of searching and filtering information, it shows the most relevant search results. The current ordinary list is enhanced with visualization, a graphical representation that presents the results visually. You could say that an image replaces a thousand results" - explains the scientist.

Dr. Andrzejczak has developed a graphical method of presenting search results (that does not require paging), ways of interaction, a method of autonomous organization of objects in the visualization space, and a method of presenting links between objects.

The tests show that the author`s method enables faster searching for information. "Users searched for information on average three times faster using Cassiopeia Graph than using classic SERPs such as the Google search results list" - he notes.

As he emphasized, his original method is also significantly more effective than classic SERPs, and has a lower percentage of errors. In addition, it works well on both desktop browsers and mobile devices.

"Very positive feedback from the test participants and the results themselves allow to assume that there is a chance that in the future this method of visualizing search results can become an alternative to static search results. It will shorten the time required to reach information and improve the search experience" - says Dr. Jarosław Andrzejczak. (PAP)

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