Ontology-based personalized search and browsing

Susan Gauch, Jason Chaffee, Alexander Pretschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Scopus citations


As the number of Internet users and the number of accessible Web pages grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult for users to find documents that are relevant to their particular needs. Users must either browse through a large hierarchy of concepts to find the information for which they are looking or submit a query to a publicly available search engine and wade through hundreds of results, most of them irrelevant. The core of the problem is that whether the user is browsing or searching, whether they are an eighth grade student or a Nobel prize winner, the identical information is selected and it is presented the same way. In this paper, we report on research that adapts information navigation based on a user profile structured as a weighted concept hierarchy. A user may create his or her own concept hierarchy and use them for browsing Web sites. Or, the user profile may be created from a reference ontology by 'watching over the user's shoulder' while they browse. We show that these automatically created, profiles reflect the user's interests quite well and they are able to produce moderate improvements when applied to search results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-234
Number of pages16
JournalWeb Intelligence and Agent Systems
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Browsing
  • Conceptual search
  • Ontologies
  • Personalization
  • Web navigation


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