Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CIKM 2010 in Toronto, ON, Canada

I'm back from Toronto, where a few of us attended the CIKM 2010 conference last week. On Friday, I presented our paper on "Selectively diversifying Web search results", a joint work with Craig Macdonald and Iadh Ounis. This work extends our successful participation in the diversity task of the TREC 2009 Web track, by investigating the need for search result diversification in the first place. In particular, we proposed a novel supervised learning approach to predict not only whether promoting diversity is beneficial, but also how much diversification should be applied to attain an effective retrieval performance on a per-query basis. After thorough, large-scale experiments with over 900 query features, we found that our selective approach can substantially improve existing diversification approaches, including our state-of-the-art xQuAD framework. Nonetheless, we believe the significance of our contribution goes beyond these successful results. Indeed, it was with great pleasure that we heard from the NTCIR organisers that NTCIR-9 will run an Intent task, aimed---among other things---at selectively diversifying search results, an area where we are proud to be pioneers.
Besides our own paper, a few other papers caught my attention:
  • Web Search Solved? All Result Rankings the Same? by Hugo Zaragoza, B. Barla Cambazoglu and Ricardo Baeza-Yates
  • Reverted Indexing for Feedback and Expansion, by Jeremy Pickens, Matthew Cooper and Gene Golovchinsky
  • Rank Learning for Factoid Question Answering with Linguistic and Semantic Constraints, by Matthew Bilotti, Jonathan Elsas, Jaime Carbonell and Eric Nyberg
  • Organizing Query Completions for Web Search, by Alpa Jain and Gilad Mishne
  • Clickthrough-Based Translation Models for Web Search: from Word Models to Phrase Models, by Jianfeng Gao, Xiaodong He and Jian-Yun Nie
The conference also featured great keynotes, of which those by Jamie Callan and Susan Dumais deserve a particular mention. Jamie talked about his view for the future of search, in which search engines capable of fully leveraging the structure of queries and documents would enable more sophisticated applications built on top of them. Susan addressed the temporal evolution of Web content, how it impacts the way users access this content, and how test collections should account for it. For more details, have a look at the excellent posts by Gene Golovchinsky on Jamie and Susan's talks.
Last but not least, many of us were involved in promoting the next edition of CIKM, to be held here in Glasgow. There was a lot of excitement from the several people that visited our booth, and also during the hand-over talk at the end of the conference. Well done Jon, Mary, Craig, and Iadh for the hard work! The arrangements for CIKM 2011 are well advanced, and the call for papers is now online. You can also follow the latest news about CIKM 2011 on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Lanyrd. We look forward to welcoming you all to Glasgow next year!

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