Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

k-Nearest Neighbors; Outcome-Based Recommendation; Search Engine


"The explosion of readily available electronic information has changed the focus of data processing from data generation to data discovery. The prevalent use of search engines has generated extensive research into improving the speed and accuracy of searches. The goal of this research is to accurately predict user behavior as a means to proactively improve speed, accuracy, and predictability of search engines. The proactive approach eliminates query entry time and hence reduces the overall processing time, improving speed. Assuming success, the user locates an electronic resource of interest, improving accuracy.

Algorithms that have been shown to predict many vastly different aspects of user behavior exist in literature. Two common approaches are used in such prediction: statistical techniques and collaborative actions. This research extends the scope of proactive search by using search histories of users in building a predictive model. The proposed approach was compared to statistical and collaborative behavior models. The test results verified that search engine prediction is a viable approach and supports the intuitive notion that prediction is more successful when user behavior exhibits less entropy.

The benefits of the proposed approach go beyond improvement in performance and accuracy. As a result of working with search histories as sequences of resources, it is possible to predict a series of resources that a user will likely select in the immediate future. This makes it possible for search engines to return resource sequences instead of simple resources. Working with sequences allows the search engine user to more effectively locate information of interest. In the end, a proactive search engine improves speed and accuracy through prediction and sequencing of electronic resources"--Abstract, page iii.


Hurson, A. R.
Sedigh, Sahra

Committee Member(s)

Leopold, Jennifer
Jiang, Wei
Wunsch, Donald C.


Computer Science

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Computer Science


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date



xii, 79 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 75-78).


© 2014 Christopher Shaun Wagner, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Search engines -- Design
Web search engines -- Evaluation

Thesis Number

T 10860

Electronic OCLC #