ECIR 2011, hosted in Dublin, Ireland, is over. It was a great week with lots of opportunities for scientific exchange, discussion and the occasional pint of fresh Guinness.
While there was a large number of interesting publications presented at the conference, this is a short list of my personal favourite talks:
- Stephen Robertson – On the Contribution of Topics to System Evaluation
An analysis of the usefulness of given topics for IR system evaluation. The conclusion is, that there does not seem to be a general property that makes a topic more or less discriminative in terms of system evaluation. An interesting example of a “negative results paper” constructing a strong case and being accepted for publication.
- Jaime Arguello et al. – A Methodology for Evaluating Aggregated Search Results (Best Student Paper)
A method for evaluation of search interfaces that aggregate results from multiple verticals based on pairwise comparison. User studies show a high correlation between the proposed method and holistic, page-wide human judgements.
- Jagadeesh Jagarlamudi et al. – Fractional Similarity: Cross-Lingual Feature Selection for Search
A method for improving foreign (as in non-English) search result ranking by gathering hints from equivalent rankings in more frequently-observed languages.
- Kamran Massoudi et al. – Incorporating Query Expansion and Quality Indicators in Searching Microblog Posts
The authors identify a range of features (general textual vs. micro blog-specific ones) to identify credible posts from which subsequent query expansion terms are extracted.
- Gabriel Dulac-Arnold et al. – Text Classification: A Sequential Reading Approach
The authors present a sequential reading problem of text classification. They propose using a probabilistic model to determine at which point the classification does not improve significantly by reading further lines of the document.
- Jinyoung Kim et al. – An Analysis of Time-Instability in Web Search Results
A nice survey of the frequency at which top-ranked result lists change for major search engines.
- Wolfgang Gatterbauer – Rules of Thumb for Information Acquisition from Large and Redundant Data
An overview of clever sampling heuristics to approximate exhaustive reads of textual collections.
- Elena Smirnova et al. – A User-Oriented Model for Expert Finding (Best Paper)
The authors introduce novel considerations into expert finding based on the searcher. An expert’s proximity to the searcher (with respect to a social network, organizational chart of an institution or a building’s office layout) as well as the relative expertise given the searcher are discussed.