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FolderPredictor: Reducing the Cost of Reaching the Right Folder

TitleFolderPredictor: Reducing the Cost of Reaching the Right Folder
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBao, X., and T. G. Dietterich
JournalACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology
Date Published01/2011

Helping computer users rapidly locate files in their folder hierarchies is a practical research problem involving both intelligent systems and user interface design. This article reports on FolderPredictor, a software system that can reduce the cost of locating files in hierarchical folders. FolderPredictor applies a cost-sensitive prediction algorithm to the user's previous file access information to predict the next folder that will be accessed. Experimental results show that, on average, FolderPredictor reduces the number of clicks spent on locating a file by 50 percent. Several variations of the cost-sensitive prediction algorithm are discussed. An experimental study shows that the best algorithm among them is a mixture of the most recently used (MRU) folder and the cost-sensitive predictions. Furthermore, FolderPredictor does not require users to adapt to a new interface, but rather meshes with the existing interface for opening files on the Windows platform.