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Social Information Foraging and Sensemaking
Conferences & Talks
Information Science Network Academic Research Center Seminar
25 August 2010
Palo Alto, California, USA
Information Foraging Theory is a theory of human-information interaction that aims to explain and predict how people will best shape themselves to their information environments, and how information environments can best be shaped to people. The approach involves a kind of reverse engineering in which the theorist asks (a) what is the nature of the task and information environments, (b) why is a given system a good solution to the problem, and (c) how is that “ideal” solution realized (approximated) by mechanism. Typically, the key steps in developing a model of information foraging involve: (a) a rational analysis of the task and information environment (often drawing on optimal foraging theory from biology) and (b) a computational production system model of the cognitive structure of task. I will briefly review work on individual information seeking, and then focus on how this work is being expanded to studies of information production and sensemaking in technology-mediated social systems such as wikis, social tagging, social network sites, and twitter. I will also discuss recent work on integrating information network and social network analysis to identify credible sources of information in twitter.
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