Perhaps low recall but high precision at ECIR 2018

Welcome to our Spring 2018 edition of Informer! Knowing the busy lifestyle of our readership, we made this  a compact issue that should quickly get you updated on some of the things going on in the world of search. First things first, ECIR is ranked A in the CORE conference rankings! This is largely due to the effort put in by IRSG committee member Craig Macdonald. Thanks for that! Furthermore, we have forged a closer link with the Information Retrieval journal. Exciting times!

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ECIR 2018 Conference Review

ECIR 2018 in Grenoble – what a spectacular setting

The 40th edition of European Conference on Information Retrieval, ECIR 2018, was held in the picturesque city of Grenoble, France. The conference was hosted in Minatec, which boasts of a nice view of the Alps right from the conference venue. A perfect weather and central location meant the attendees could indulge in some sightseeing in the post-conference hours. Éric Gaussier (University Grenoble Alpes), Lorraine Goeuriot (University Grenoble Alpes) and Georges Quénot (CNRS) were the general chairs for ECIR 2018.

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Conference Review: Autumn School for Information Retrieval and Information Foraging 2017

ASIRF Attendees visiting Dagstuhl ruins on arrival day.

The Autumn School for Information Retrieval and Information Foraging (ASIRF) took place at Schloss Dagstuhl in Saarland (a Southwest German state) between October 1st and 6th, 2017. The School covered user- and system-oriented information retrieval (IR), with lectures given by leading researchers in the field—including Norbert Fuhr, a Salton Award winner. ASIRF was attended by 24 students and 8 lecturers, representing 4 continents and 13 countries.

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Learning word representations with sequential modelling

Word representations have been learned by matrix factorisation methods or methods that optimise for similar goals (Levy et al. 2015). However these methods are limited to exploiting only co-occurrence statistics or bag-of-word features. Nevertheless these methods are usually so computationally efficient that they can be trained with huge corpora that may contain billions of words. As in other bag-of-word models, structural nature of languages does not account for the models’ inferences. We hypothesise that by using structural architectures, specifically recurrent neural networks, derived word representations contain properties learned from the preserved sequential nature of the input text. Continue reading “Learning word representations with sequential modelling”

Events Spring 2018

One Day Events

Watch out for our annual Search Solutions event in November!


Algorithms, Automation and News conference. Of interest to members working in the area of search and news. 22–23 May 2018, Munich, Germany. http://algorithmic.news

EEWC 2018: Eighth Enterprise Engineering Working Conference. Of interest to members working in the area of enterprise search. 28 May- 1 June 2018, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. http://ciaonetwork.org/eewc2018

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to the Winter 2018 edition of Informer! Slightly later than usual, therefore we jump straight into the news section: Jochen Leidner (Director of Research at Thomson Reuters) and Frank Hopfgartner (Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University) are our new faces in the IRSG committee. Let’s give them a round of applause for their election success. We also welcome Steven Zimmerman (PhD student at Essex University) who has been co-opted as the student representative to the committee.
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Search Solutions 2017: The Misinformation Age

Fake News – a key theme of the day

Fake news, misinformation and toxic content were certainly the central theme to this years annual one day Search Solutions conference at the BCS headquarters in London. There were many other great presentations of the day to discuss as, but did not have the essence of relevance of the central theme of the day.

The misinformation topic was introduced in the session just before lunch. Perhaps it was the hunger of speakers and audience that made the session undisputedly the most exciting. The conflicting views of one presenter and an employee of a company providing a popular search engine was just one of many highlights.

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Call for book reviews (Winter 2018)

Keeping up with the tradition of book reviews, we again seek reviewers for a number of recently published books in the fields of information and data science. As always, books will be allocated for review on a first-come-first-served basis and you would have about one month to carry out the review. If you are interested in reviewing one of these books, please let me know which book you are interested in reviewing and we will arrange for a copy (paper or online format) to be sent to you along with review guidelines. The currently available books (courtesy of Springer Verlag) are:

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