Beyond position bias: examining result attractiveness as a source of presentation bias in clickthrough data
Leveraging clickthrough data has become a popular approach for evaluating and optimizing information retrieval systems. Although data is plentiful, one must take care when interpreting clicks, since user behavior can be affected by various sources of presentation bias. While the issue of position bias in clickthrough data has been the topic of much study, other presentation bias effects have received comparatively little attention. For instance, since users must decide whether to click on a result based on its summary (e.g., the title, URL and abstract), one might expect clicks to favor "more attractive" results. In this paper, we examine result summary attractiveness as a potential source of presentation bias. This study distinguishes itself from prior work by aiming to detect systematic biases in click behavior due to attractive summaries inflating perceived relevance. Our experiments conducted on the Google web search engine show substantial evidence of presentation bias in clicks towards results with more attractive titles.
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