7th Italian Information Retrieval (IIR) Workshop

The aim of the Italian Information Retrieval (IIR) workshop is to provide an annual meeting where Italian researchers, and especially early stage researchers like PhD students, of the area of IR and related disciplines can present ongoing works and projects as well as results and innovative developments, and exchange information and ideas in an informal way.

The expected contributions to IIR can be related to various aspects of IR: from theory to systems architecture. Traditionally, the format of the submission can be of three types: long papers presenting new research results up to 12 pages, short papers synthesising past research up to 8 pages, and extended abstracts containing descriptions of ongoing projects or summarising already published results up to 4 pages.

The 7th edition of the IIR Workshop was held from the 30th to the 31st of May 2016 in the main palace of the University Ca’ Foscari in Venezia, in the Aula Baratto which is a wonderful room combining modern design with the gothic style that characterises Palace Ca’ Foscari, and with a beautiful balcony facing the Canal Grande.

University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice.

The Aula Baratto overlooking the Grand Canal.

For the 7th edition, the program committee accepted 26 papers (18 abstracts, 3 short papers, and 5 long papers) and about 60 participants attended the two days of the workshop. All the papers were accepted for oral presentation and divided five sessions according to the following topics: User studies, Machine Learning, Evaluation, Efficiency, Systems.
Two social events took place at the end of the first day of the workshop: a stroll around Venice with a taste of the famous “Spritz” drink in a traditional “bacaro” (bar), and a social dinner at one of the typical “Trattoria” of Venice.

The proceedings of the workshop are available on the CEUR-WS Website, Volume 1653.

For the first time in the history of IIR, the workshop had two invited talks per day for a total of four talks by Alessandro Moschitti (University of Trento), Stefano Ceri (Politecnico di Milano), Rossano Venturini (University of Pisa), Giorgio Satta (University of Padova).

On the morning of May 30th, Alessandro Moschitti gave a talk entitled “IBM Watson Grand Challenge: Lesson Learned in a Machine Learning and deep NLP perspective”. In this talk, Alessandro Moschitti showed some developments of IBM Watson successful solutions applied to real-world applications, such as Community Question Answering (QA). He also presented an overview of the current state of the art according to the most important academic benchmarks of QA.

On the afternoon of May 30th, Stefano Ceri talked about “Genomic Computing: Making sense of the Signals from the Genome”; in particular, Stefano Ceri presented the GeCo Project (Data-Driven Genomic Computing, ERC Advanced Grant). Among the ambitious objectives of this project, there is the creation of an “open source” system available to biological and clinical research, as well as the development of an “Internet for Genomics”, i.e. a protocol for collecting data from Consortia and individual researchers, and a “Google for Genomics”, supporting indexing and search over huge collections of genomic datasets.

On the morning of May 31st, Rossano Venturini presented “Succinct data structures in Information Retrieval” and introduced a field of research that studies these new kind of data structures (i.e. succinct) that mimic the operations of their classical counterparts within a comparable time complexity but requiring much less space.

On the afternoon of May 31st, Giorgio Satta he introduced “Recent Developments in Natural Language Parsing” and provided an overview of current research in Natural Language Parsing (NLP). Giorgio Satta discussed the formalisms, the algorithms, the methodologies and the resources that have been adopted in NLP area in the last ten years. He also outlined some future research directions that might become prominent for the IR community in the years to come.

The abstracts and the slides of the invited talk can downloaded from the IIR 2016 Website.

At the end of the workshop it was announced that the 8th edition of IIR will have taken place for the first time outside Italy, at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) in Lugano, Switzerland.

About Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio
Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio

Giorgio Maria Di nunzio is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Engineering, University of Padua. His main research interests are the study of probabilistic models for information retrieval and text classification and innovative methods for the use of gamification in machine learning experiments.

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