Context-Aware Service Input Ranking by Learning from Historical Information

Shaohua Wang, Ying Zou, Joanna Ng, Tinny Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Users visit on-line services and compose them to accomplish on-line tasks, such as shopping on-line. Quite often, users enter the same information into various on-line services to finish on-line tasks. However, repetitively typing the same information into web forms is a tedious job for users. In this paper, we propose a context-aware ranking framework to rank values for input parameters. We propose 6 categories of ranking features constructed from various types of information, such as user contexts and patterns of user inputs. Our framework adopts learning-to-rank (LtR) algorithms that consist of a set of machine learned models to automatically construct ranking models by integrating the ranking features. When a user enters a value to an input parameter, an interaction between the user input and the input parameter is established. Our framework learns information relevant to such interactions and ranks user inputs in different contexts. Through empirical studies on the real-world on-line services, we obtain the following main results: (1) Among the 8 state-of-the-art learning-to-rank models, RankBoost can outperform other LtR models on ranking user inputs for input parameters; (2) Our framework using IRSVM that performs the worst among the LtR models outperforms the two baseline conventional ranking models and Google Chrome Autofilling, an industrial tool, on ranking user inputs to input parameters; and (3) We observe that the textual information of user inputs and input parameters is the most influential factor on ranking user inputs. Among the various types of contextual data, user locations and time matter the most to the ranking of user inputs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8119907
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management


  • Information reuse
  • input parameter value recommendation
  • learning-to-rank
  • web forms


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