Information access in context

J. Budzik*, Kristian J Hammond, Lawrence A Birnbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Our central claim is that user interactions with productivity applications (e.g. word processors, Web browsers, etc.) provide rich contextual information that can be leveraged to support just-in-time access to task-relevant information. As evidence for our claim, we present Watson, a system which gathers contextual information in the form of the text of the document the user is manipulating, in order to proactively retrieve documents from distributed information repositories related to task at hand, as well as process explicit requests in the context of this task. We close by describing the results of several experiments with Watson, which show it consistently provides useful information to its users. The experiments also suggest that, contrary to the assumptions of many system designers, similar documents are not necessarily useful documents in the context of a particular task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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