Continuous Evaluation of Large-scale Information Access Systems: A Case for Living Labs


A/B testing is currently being increasingly adopted for the evaluation of commercial information access systems with a large user base since it provides the advantage of observing the efficiency and effectiveness of information access systems under real conditions. Unfortunately, unless university-based researchers closely collaborate with industry or develop their own infrastructure or user base, they cannot validate their ideas in live settings with real users. Without online testing opportunities open to the research communities, academic researchers are unable to employ online evaluation on a larger scale. This means that they do not get feedback for their ideas and cannot advance their research further. Businesses, on the other hand, miss the opportunity to have higher customer satisfaction due to improved systems. In addition, users miss the chance to benefit from an improved information access system. In this chapter, we introduce two evaluation initiatives at CLEF, NewsREEL and Living Labs for IR (LL4IR), that aim to address this growing "evaluation gap" between academia and industry. We explain the challenges and discuss the experiences organizing theses living labs.

author = {Frank Hopfgartner and Krisztian Balog and Andreas Lommatzsch and Liadh Kelly and Benjamin Kille and Anne Schuth and Martha Larson},
booktitle = {Information Retrieval Evaluation in a Changing World},
chapter = {Continuous Evaluation of Large-scale Information Access Systems: A Case for Living Labs},
editor = {Nicola Ferro and Carol Peters},
publisher = {Springer International Publishing}, 
series = {The Information Retrieval Series},
volume = {41},
year = {2019},
ISBN = {978-3-030-22947-4},
ISSN = {1387-5264},
doi= {10.1007/978-3-030-22948-1},
Frank Hopfgartner, Krisztian Balog, Andreas Lommatzsch, Liadh Kelly, Benjamin Kille, Anne Schuth, Martha Larson
Information Retrieval Evaluation in a Changing World, Springer International Publishing