Search - an everyday activity (amazing)

Welcome to our summer 2015 edition of Informer! What a great summer, what an action-filled year, what a good number of reasons to keep celebrating. Cheers! Now, first point: ECIR 2017 will be held in … hmmm, good question! It is up to YOU to make history, just put in an excellent bid to host ECIR 2017 and you might find yourself running this prestigious conference in a place of your choice. You still have until mid-August to do so. We will evaluate the bids in August and discuss them at the next IRSG committee meeting in September.

What do we have on offer for you this time? We start with a feature article that gives a feel for the ever-changing nature of search.  Thanh Vu, who is currently doing a PhD at the Open University, provides a gentle introduction into his own research  area, Dynamic Group Formation for Search Personalisation.

Frank Hopfgartner comes along in two roles. He first presents an overview of the CLEF NewsREEL challenge, a great opportunity to play around with news recommendation algorithms with the possibility of tapping into a pool of millions of real users. In particular for students this is a unique opportunity (remember the ongoing discussion at academic conferences where one question is always being raised: How do I get access to real data/users/logs/tasks/etc.?) And Frank’s second role? Frank is our new books editor. Welcome on board! If you would like to write a review of an IR book, then let him know. If it’s a recently published Springer title, even better as you can keep the copy that Frank will provide … And there is another new face! Gabriella Kazai has joined the editorial team. Let’s welcome her too!

Next on my list: Search Solutions 2015. This is our well-established annual event aimed primarily at practitioners in the search community. The date is Thursday, 26th of November 2015, at the BCS in London (Covent Garden). You are the first to hear about the confirmed speakers so far! These include Fabrizio Silvestri (Yahoo!), Michaela Regneri (Spiegel Verlag), Bhaskar Mitra (Microsoft Research / Bing), Tessa Radwan (NLA), Tom Crane (Digirati), Karen Renshaw (RS Components) and Charlie Hull (Flax). More to be added to this great list of speakers! What I failed to mention so far is that we have yet another Search Solutions Tutorial day on Wednesday, 25th of November, and Andy will tell you all about it in his article. Judging by last year’s success this is an event not to be missed (and a good excuse to stay in London for a drink or three).

And this is still not all! We also have details about two important deadlines coming up as we (the BCS IRSG) are involved in both of these.  First of all, those of you who attended Ryen White’s Karen Spärck-Jones Award talk at ECIR 2015 in Vienna will probably eagerly be looking forward to next year’s talk at ECIR 2016 in Padua. Well, the call is still open and you can find details about it in this issue. The other open call is that to host ICTIR 2017 and 2018. ICTIR used to be organised once every two years but will now be turned into an annual event. The organisers do point out that the preferred location for ICTIR 2017 is Europe.

Finally, what would Informer be without the contiuous effort of our fasted researcher, Andy. As always he compiled a comprehensive list of upcoming events in the wider area of information retrieval and all you need to do is consult his events calendar.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the summer and drink responsibly!

P.S. If YOU want to speak at Search Solutions this year, then let us know. We have just three slots left and are happy to receive proposals!



About Udo Kruschwitz
Udo Kruschwitz

Udo Kruschwitz is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex. His main interests are in information retrieval and natural language engineering. He has been a member of the IRSG committee for a few years now and enjoys in particular being involved in organising events such as Search Solutions and ECIR Industry Day which aim at bringing together academia and industry. He co-chaired SIGIR 2012 Industry Track.