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Search Solutions 2013

Search Solutions 2010

Tuesday 26th November, Covent Garden, London

Search Solutions now includes a Tutorial Programme to offer conference attendees and local participants a stimulating and informative selection of practical training courses reflecting current topics and state-of-the-art methods in search and information retrieval.

These tutorials will be presented by subject matter experts and will reflect the high academic and professional standards of the Search Solutions conference series.

Provisional Programme

  • Morning Session 09:30 - 13:00

Designing search usability, Instructor: Tony Russell-Rose, UXLabs Ltd (Wilkes Room 2)

Search is not just a box and ten blue links. Search is a journey: an exploration where what we encounter along the way changes what we seek. But in order to guide people along this journey, we must understand both the art and science of search experience design. The aim of this tutorial is to deliver a course grounded in good scholarship, integrating the latest research findings with insights derived from the practical experience of designing and optimizing dozens of commercial search applications. It focuses on the development of transferable, practical skills that can be learnt and practiced within a half-day session.

Patent searching: focus on Asian patent information frameworks, Instructor: Jane List, Extract Information Limited (Wilkes Room 3)


Information overload in the patent domain is reaching breaking point with over 2 million new patent publications per annum , of which over half of these publications are written in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. This represents a huge challenge to Western language speakers. Many patent applications will only ever be published in the original language. Can you afford to overlook this important source of technical and business information? Anyone undertaking a pre-filing prior art search must consider these patents, as all three are included in the PCT minimum documentation list. This tutorial will de-mystify patent searching of Asian patent information, covering information availability, sources and solutions, and best practice in forming search strategies for machine translated text, and original language. This workshop is ideal for those with some knowledge of patent searching, who now want to extend their knowledge and search skills of Asian patents. The course will provide an overview of patents of invention and utility model publications from China, Japan, and Korea, and will then focus on sources, including a review of the commercial and patent office databases, and follow with hints and tips on searching, legal status availability and interpretation, understanding the results and obtaining translations.

Multimedia Information Retrieval frameworks, Instructor: Stefan Rüger, The Open University (Wilkes Room 4)

At its very core multimedia information retrieval means the process of searching for and finding multimedia documents; the corresponding research field is concerned with building the best possible multimedia search engines to support digital libraries and resource discovery missions. The intriguing bit here is that the query itself can be a multimedia excerpt: For example, when looking at a sketch in a text book, slide presentation or patent application, would it not be great if you could just take a picture with your mobile phone and send it to a service that finds a related sketched in, say, a database of lecture videos covering that topic or the patent database? This tutorial goes further by examining the full matrix of a variety of query modes versus document types. How do you retrieve a music piece by humming? What if you want to find news video clips on forest _res using a still image? The tutorial discusses underlying techniques and common approaches to facilitate multimedia search engines: metadata driven retrieval; piggyback text retrieval where automated processes create text surrogates for multimedia; automated image annotation; content-based retrieval. The latter is studied in great depth looking at features and distances, and how to effectively combine them for efficient retrieval, to a point here the participants will develop an understanding of possibilities and limitations of multimedia search engines. Supporting users in their resource discovery mission when hunting for multimedia material is not a technological indexing problem alone. We look at interactive ways of engaging with repositories through browsing and relevance feedback, roping in geographical context, and providing visual summaries for videos. The tutorial emphasises state-of-the-art research in the area of multimedia information retrieval, which gives an indication of the research and development trends and, thereby, a glimpse of the future world.

  • Afternoon Session 14:00 - 17:30

Evaluating Search: designing effective user-centred evaluation frameworks, Instructor: Dr Sharon McDonald, University of Sunderland (Wilkes Room 2)


Designing an effective user-centred evaluation of an interactive search system can be a challenging activity. Essentially five issues must be dealt with. Test planners must decide: who to test (participant characteristics); where the test should take place (physical and technological environment); when the test should take place (the stage in the development process); what is tested (the system conjectures); and how the test will be conducted (procedures and measures). The decisions made at each stage of the process will ultimately influence the utility, reliability and the validly of the test results. In this tutorial we will explore the issues in developing user-centred evaluations of interactive search systems. The tutorial will comprise a mixture of lectorial and practical activities and will draw upon current themes in the research literature, as well as the presenter's own experience from commercial projects.

Information resources for the search community, Instructor: Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd (Wilkes Room 3)


The range of published and web resources on information retrieval is very wide. Most of these resources which will be familiar to the research community but which may not be familiar to search managers. There are also many surveys and reports on aspects of website and enterprise search which are not so widely known to either the research or practitioner community. The objective of this workshop is to provide participants with a review of all these resources and then use the expertise of the participants to develop a core set of resources that could be promoted to the BCS membership. The workshop will be led by Martin White, who has been involved in the business of search since 1974, is a Visiting Professor at the iSchool, University, Sheffield and recently launched The Search Circle as an information service for search managers.

City Search: An evolution of search to incorporate city data, Instructors: Veli Bicer and Vanessa Lopez, IBM Research Ireland (Wilkes Room 4)

Today plenty of data is emerging from various city systems. Beyond the classical Web resources, large amounts of data are retrieved from sensors, devices, social networks, governmental applications, or service networks. In such a diversity of information, answering specific information needs of city inhabitants requires holistic IR techniques, capable of harnessing different types of city data and turned it into actionable insights to answer different queries. This tutorial will present deep insights, challenges, opportunities and techniques to make heterogeneous city data searchable and show how emerging IR techniques models can be employed to retrieve relevant information for the citizens.


Registration fees (including VAT at 20%) are as follows (per tutorial):

Early Bird Rates (until 23:59 on 31-Oct-2013)

  • BCS member rate: £90
  • Non-member rate: £110
Normal Rates (from 01-Nov-2013)
  • BCS member rate: £110
  • Non-member rate: £130

Booking Link:

Closing Date for bookings is 23:59 on Monday 25 November 2013 at 11:59 pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

Cancellations & Refunds

Full refund available if cancellation received before 12pm on Monday 18 November 2013. Name substitutions will be allowed if notified before the closing date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.