The 36th European Conference on Information Retrieval

13-16 April, 2014 Amsterdam

Invited Speakers

Opening Keynote

Name Eugene Agichtein
Affiliation Emory University
Title Inferring Searcher Attention and Intention by Mining Behavior Data
Abstract A long standing challenge in Web search is how to accurately determine the intention behind a searcher’s query, which is needed to rank, organize, and present results most effectively. The difficulty is that users often do not (or cannot) provide sufficient information about their goals.  As this talk with show, it is nevertheless possible to read their intentions through clues revealed by behavior, such as the amount of attention paid to a document or a text fragment. I will overview the approaches that have emerged for acquiring and mining behavioral data for inferring search intent, ranging from robust models of click data in the aggregate, to modeling fine-grained user interactions such as mouse cursor movements in the searcher’s browser. The latter can also be used to measure the searcher’s attention “in the wild’’, with granularity approaching that of using eye tracking equipment in the laboratory. The resulting techniques and models have already shown noteworthy improvements for search tasks such as ranking, relevance estimation, and result summary generation, and have applications to other domains, such as psychology, neurology, and online education.

Industry Day Opening Keynote

Name Gilad Mishne
Affiliation Twitter (head of search)
Title Real-time search at Twitter
Abstract Twitter’s search engine faces some of the most unique challenges in information retrieval and distributed systems today. On the scaling front, it’s a relatively young system with a massive user base, billions of queries daily, and many billions of indexed documents – with thousands being added every second. On the ranking side, the combination of realtime and social requires new solutions to relevance estimation for newly-created documents, blending different types of live content, evaluation in the absence of direct user feedback, and more. On top of this, the dynamic nature of a nascent company and product leads to a multitude of operational challenges and opportunities.
In this talk, I’ll cover some of these challenges and how we approach them at Twitter.