Abstract-Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) is the process by which people working together can collaboratively search for, share and navigate through information. Computer support for CIR currently makes use of single-user systems. CIR systems could benefit from the use of multi-user interaction to enable more than one person to collaborate using the same data sources, at the same time and in the same place. Multi-touch interaction has provided the ability for multiple users to interact simultaneously with a multi-touch surface.
This paper presents a generalised architecture for multi-touch CIR applications. There are three main goals of the proposed architecture: to create hardware independence, to separate the gesture recognition and CIR information objects from the application code and to make use of an extensible gesture definition set to allow for application-specific operations. A prototype CIR tool based on this architecture is described which will be used to investigate the potential for multi-touch interaction techniques to effectively support CIR.