An initial investigation into fixed and adaptive stopping strategies

David Maxwell, Leif Azzopardi, Kalervo Järvelin, Heikki Keskustalo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

10 Citations (Scopus)


Most models, measures and simulations often assume that a searcher will stop at a predetermined place in a ranked list of results. However, during the course of a search session, real-world searchers will vary and adapt their interactions with a ranked list. These interactions depend upon a variety of factors, including the content and quality of the results returned, and the searcher's information need. In this paper, we perform a preliminary simulated analysis into the influence of stopping strategies when query quality varies. Placed in the context of ad-hoc topic retrieval during a multi-query search session, we examine the influence of fixed and adaptive stopping strategies on overall performance. Surprisingly, we find that a fixed strategy can perform as well as the examined adaptive strategies, but the fixed depth needs to be adjusted depending on the querying strategy used. Further work is required to explore how well the stopping strategies reflect actual search behaviour, and to determine whether one stopping strategy is dominant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGIR '15 Proceedings of the 38th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • evaluation
  • stopping strategies
  • search strategies
  • search behaviour

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