Extending search to crowds: a model-driven approach


In many settings, the human opinion provided by an expert or knowledgeable user can be more useful than factual information retrieved by a search engine. Search systems do not capture the subjective opinions and recommendations of friends, or fresh, online-provided information that require contextual or domain-specific expertise. Search results obtained from conventional search engines can be complemented by crowdsearch, an online interaction with crowds, selected among friends, experts, or people who are presently at a given location; an interplay between conventional and search-based queries can occur, so that the two search methods can support each other. In this paper, we use a model-driven approach for specifying and implementing a crowdsearch application; in particular we define two models: the “Query Task Model”, representing the meta-model of the query that is submitted to the crowd and the associated answers; and the “User Interaction Model”, showing how the user can interact with the query model to fulfil her needs. Our solution allows for a top-down design approach, from the crowd-search task design, down to the crowd answering system design. Our approach also grants automatic code generation, thus leading to quick prototyping of crowd-search applications.

Search Computing