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Information Foraging TheoryAdaptive Interaction with Information$
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Peter L. T. Pirolli

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173321.001.0001

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Information Foraging Theory

Information Foraging Theory

Framework and Method

(p.3) 1 Information Foraging Theory
Information Foraging Theory

Peter Pirolli

Oxford University Press

Information foraging theory is being developed in order to understand and improve human—information interaction. The framework assumes that humans adapt to the world by seeking and using information. As a result humans create a glut of information, causing a poverty of attention and a greater need to allocate that attention effectively and efficiently. The framework draws upon concepts in optimal foraging theory and computational cognitive psychology. Theories are developed and tested via rational analysis and computational cognitive models. Rational analysis involves an engineering style model of (a) what environmental problem is solved and (b) why a given system is a good solution to the problem. Computational cognitive models provide the details of how the human cognitive architecture achieves information foraging tasks in given information environments. The framework and methodology are illustrated using an example of the task of finding a good, inexpensive hotel on the Web.

Keywords:   information foraging theory, human—information interaction, rational analysis, cognitive model

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