|dc.description.abstract||Events like hurricanes, earthquakes,
or accidents can impact a large number of people. Not only are people in the
immediate vicinity of the event affected, but concerns about their well-being are
shared by the local government and well-wishers across the world.
The latest information about news events
could be of use to government and aid agencies in order to make informed decisions on
providing necessary support, security and relief. The general public
avails of news updates via dedicated news feeds or broadcasts, and lately,
via social media services
like Facebook or Twitter.
Retrieving the latest information about newsworthy events from the world-wide web
is thus of importance to a large section of society.
As new content on a multitude of topics is continuously being published on the web,
specific event related information needs to be filtered from the resulting
stream of documents.
We present in this thesis, a user-centric evaluation measure for
evaluating systems that filter news related information from document streams.
Our proposed evaluation measure, Modeled Stream Utility (MSU), models
users accessing information from a stream of sentences
produced by a news update filtering system.
The user model allows for simulating a large number of users with different
characteristic stream browsing behavior. Through simulation,
MSU estimates the utility of a system for an
average user browsing a stream of sentences.
Our results show that system performance is sensitive to a user population's
stream browsing behavior and that
existing evaluation metrics correspond to very specific types of user behavior.
To evaluate systems that filter sentences from a document stream,
we need a set of judged sentences. This judged set is
a subset of all the sentences returned by all systems, and is
typically constructed by pooling
together the highest quality sentences,
as determined by respective system assigned scores for each sentence.
Sentences in the pool are manually assessed and
the resulting set of judged sentences is then used to compute system performance metrics.
In this thesis, we investigate the effect of including duplicates of
judged sentences, into the judged set, on system performance evaluation. We also develop an
alternative pooling methodology, that given the MSU user model,
selects sentences for pooling based on the probability of a sentences being read by
Our research lays the foundation for interesting future work for utilizing
user-models in different aspects of evaluation of stream filtering systems.
The MSU measure enables incorporation of different
user models. Furthermore, the applicability of MSU could be extended through
calibration based on user