The blend academia-industry was indeed a signature of WWW. I was also impressed with the multidisciplinary nature of the conference—with up to five parallel sessions, there was always something for everyone! In particular, from the sessions I attended, a few papers caught my attention:
- Clustering query refinements by user intent, by Eldar Sadikov et al. (Stanford University and Google)
- Optimal rare query suggestion with implicit user feedback, by Yang Song and Li-wei He (Microsoft Research)
- Building taxonomy of Web search intents for name entity queries, by Xiaoxin Yin and Sarthak Shah (Microsoft Research)
- Exploring Web scale language models for search query processing, by Jian Huang et al. (Microsoft Research Asia, Facebook, and Penn State University)
- Classification-enhanced ranking, by Paul N. Bennett et al. (Microsoft Research)
- Ranking specialization for Web search: A divide-and-conquer approach by using topical RankSVM, by Jiang Bian et al. (Georgia Tech and Yahoo! Labs)
- Generalized distances between rankings, by Ravi Kumar and Sergei Vassilvitskii (Yahoo! Research)
- Relational duality: Unsupervised extraction of semantic relations between entities on the Web, by Danushka T. Bollegala et al. (University of Tokyo)
- Vint Cerf discussed a broad range of topics of interest on today's Web, where everything is connected: 1.8 billion users, around a billion Web-enabled mobile devices, and still a large room for growth in developing countries. Touched points included the implications of the explosion of data production on mobility, accessibility, security and privacy, intellectual property, digital preservation, as well as new technologies (e.g., cloud computing).
- dannah boyd discussed privacy implications of the availability of "big data". Her keynote revolved around common misconceptions associated with the analysis of data produced by online social activities, as well as ethical concerns related to using this data in the first place, "just because it is accessible".
- Carl Malamud from public.resource.org described his experiences trying to convince seven bureaucratic institutions to make public data publicly accessible. His keynote was organised around "10 rules for radicals", a guide on how to break the barriers towards negotiating with bureaucrats.
- Factorizing personalized Markov chains for next-basket recommendation, by Steffen Rendle, Christoph Freudenthaler, and Lars Schmidt-Thieme (Osaka University and University of Hildesheim)
- Privacy wizards for social networking sites, by Lujun Fang and Kristen LeFevre (University of Michigan)
- How much is your personal recommendation worth, by Paul Dütting, Monika Henzinger and Ingmar Weber (EPFL Lausanne, University of Vienna, and Yahoo! Research)
- SourceRank: Relevance and trust assessment for deep Web sources based on inter-source agreement, by Raju Balakrishnan and Subbarao Kambhampati (Arizona State University)
Finally, on Saturday, the IW3C2 announced the Brazilian bid as the winner to host WWW 2013, which I was very glad to hear about!