Olio: A Semantic Search Interface for Data Repositories

UIST 2023, October 29–November 01, 2023, San Francisco, CA, USA

Search and information retrieval systems are becoming more expressive in interpreting user queries beyond the traditional weighted bag-of-words model of document retrieval. For example, searching for a flight status or a game score returns a dynamically generated response along with supporting, pre-authored documents contextually relevant to the query. In this paper, we extend this hybrid search paradigm to data repositories that contain curated data sources and visualization content. We introduce a semantic search interface, OLIO, that provides a hybrid set of results comprising both auto-generated visualization responses and pre-authored charts to blend analytical question-answering with content discovery search goals. We specifically explore three search scenarios - question-and-answering, exploratory search, and design search over data repositories. The interface also provides faceted search support for users to refine and filter the conventional best-first search results based on parameters such as author name, time, and chart type. A preliminary user evaluation of the system demonstrates that OLIO’s interface and the hybrid search paradigm collectively afford greater expressivity in how users discover insights and visualization content in data repositories.


Vidya Setlur, Andriy Kanyuka, Arjun Srinivasan


Vidya Setlur, Arjun Srinivasan

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