Interactive Search on the Web: The Story So Far

Sareh Aghaei*, Kevin Angele, Elwin Huaman, Geni Bushati, Mathias Schiestl, Anna Fensel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Search on the web, specifically fetching of the relevant content, has been paid attention to since the advent of the web and particularly in recent years due to the tremendous growth in the volume of data and web pages. This paper categorizes the search services from the early days of the web to the present into keyword search engines, semantic search engines, question answering systems, dialogue systems and chatbots. As the first generation of search engines, keyword search engines have adopted keyword-based techniques to find the web pages containing the query keywords and ranking search results. In contrast, semantic search engines try to find meaningful and accurate results on the meaning and relations of things. Question-answering systems aim to find precise answers to natural language questions rather than returning a ranked list of relevant sources. As a subset of question answering systems, dialogue systems target to interact with human users through a dialog expressed in natural language. As a subset of dialogue systems, chatbots try to simulate human-like conversations. The paper provides an overview of the typical aspects of the studied search services, including process models, data preparation and presentation, common methodologies and categories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number324
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • chatbot
  • dialogue system
  • natural language processing
  • question answer system
  • review
  • search engine
  • search on the web
  • semantic search engine
  • semantic web


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