Slow down!

April 10th, 2013 by

The prolific Jaime Teevan has decided to blog, as evidenced by the creation of “Slow Searching” a few weeks ago. In a recent post, Jaime wrote about some ways in which Twitter search differed from web search, among which she included monitoring behavior, running “the same query over and over again just to see what is new.” Putting on my Lorite hat for a minute, this seems quite similar (albeit on a different timescale) to the “pre-web” concept of routing or standing queries. At some point, later, Google introduced Alerts, which seemed to be its reinvention of the same concept. And of course tools like TweetDeck make  it much easier to keep up with particular Twitter topics.

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April 5th, 2013 by
The skilled adversarial reviewer can find reasons to reject any paper without even reading it. This is considered truly blind reviewing. [Cormode, G.]

Many conferences request that submitted papers be anonymized by removing the authors’ names, tweaking the references, removing mentions of the authors’ organization in the paper, etc. The goal of the double-blind review process is to reduce the bias (positive or negative) that reviewers might have based on their knowledge of who wrote the paper. SIGIR, for example, included the following on their submission page for the 2013 conference:

Anonymity. SIGIR reviewing is double-blind. Therefore, please anonymize your submission. This means that all submissions must contain no information identifying the author(s) or their organization(s): Do not put the author(s) names or affiliation(s) at the start of the paper, anonymize citations to and mentions of your own prior work that are directly related to your present work, and do not include funding or other acknowledgments. For example, if you are using your product that is well known in the domain and you think it will be easy for an expert to identify you or your company, we recommend that you use another name for your product (e.g., MyProduct_ABC, MyCompany_ABC). If your paper is accepted, then you will replace the original name in the final version for the proceedings.

Papers that do not follow the above Style, Language, Anonymity instructions will be rejected without review. [emphasis mine]

And, apparently, in some cases, they followed through on this policy. In my opinion, this is too harsh.

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ACM DL and Open Access

April 2nd, 2013 by

Today ACM announced a way for authors to pay for publishing open-access papers in the ACM DL. For a mere $1100 per conference paper ($1300 per journal article) for ACM members, authors can grant free access to their publications to anyone who wants it. I am all for open access to academic publications, but I have my doubts about this scheme.

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April 1st, 2013 by

It’s that time of the year again, time to solicit your latest and greatest HCIR ideas in written and poster form. We are happy to announce that this year’s Human-Computer Information Retrieval Symposium (HCIR 2013) will be held on October 3 and 4 in Vancouver, BC. Building on last year’s meeting, we will have both short and full papers, as well as plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction. Short papers will be presented at the poster session, while full papers will be peer-reviewed to first-tier conference standards, will get an regular oral presentation slot and will be archived in the ACM Digital Library, as were last year’s papers. The deadline for submission is June 30th. For more details, please see the CFP.

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HCIR site gets publication page

March 29th, 2013 by

Over the past six years of the HCIR series of meetings, we’ve accumulated a number of publications. We’ve had a series of reports about the meetings, papers published in the ACM Digital Library, and an up-coming Special Issue of IP&M. In the run-up to this year’s event (stay tuned!), I decided it might be useful to consolidate these publications in one place. Hence, we now have the HCIR Publications page.

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Social media mining intern

February 7th, 2013 by

We are looking for an intern to work with us this summer in the area of social media analysis. The project will involve understanding and mining patterns within Twitter data, in both text and images. An ideal candidate is a PhD student with strong machine learning skills. Prior experience in image understanding, text data mining, social network analysis, or statistical modeling is a plus.  If you are interested in this project, please send your CV to Dhiraj or Francine

Ghosts of CHI Madness past

November 15th, 2012 by

Gonzalo Ramos and I are the video previews chairs for CHI 2013. Video previews are a new way of promoting and advertising CHI publications before, during, and after the conference.; they will replace the traditional live CHI Madness presentations.

We would like to put together a small set of short videos (approx 30 seconds long) that illustrate best practices in CHI madness presentations.  These videos will be made available to CHI 2013 authors as examples best practices. If you have a video or a timed slide deck that you would be willing to contribute, please let me know.  We will select a few videos, describe key aspects that we think make them appropriate for this purpose, and publish them along other instructions for the authors.

Thanks for your help!

HCIR 2012 papers published!

November 7th, 2012 by

One of the things we did slightly differently in this year’s HCIR Symposium was to introduce full-length, pier reviewed, top-tier conference-quality papers. We received a number of submissions, each of which was read and discussed by three reviewers. We then rejected some of papers, and sent several back for a rewrite-and-resubmit cycle. In the end, we accepted four papers, which have now been published in the ACM Digital Library.

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Mining the Video Past of Future Research: Is it worth a look?

October 23rd, 2012 by

Hi FXPAL blogosphere. Among the odds and ends I do at FXPAL is help people present their works with video. It also falls to me to archive the videos themselves. As I periodically move the video to new storage servers, I tend to look over “the old family album.” Our family is in the business of looking ahead at technology, so our album is pretty much all about that. Sometimes we hit, sometimes we miss. (One thing for sure about trying to make sense of the future is that the future’s judgement is pretty clear – once you get there.)

Among many other things, looking at family albums starts conversations. So here is the first installment in starting a blog conversation with these archive videos at the center. Where will it lead? Well, that’s what blogging is kind of good at, is it not?

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A good showing

October 12th, 2012 by

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that of the 75 people attending HCIR 2012 last week, five were former FXPAL interns! In order of most recent internship, these were: Elena Agapie (Harvard), Abdi Diriye (then UCL, currently at CMU), Aditi Muralidharan (UC Berkeley), Chirag Shah (then UNC Chapel Hill, now Rutgers), and Jacek Gwizdka (then UofT, now UT). another former intern, Diane Kelly (then Rutgers, now UNC Chapel Hill) who was a reviewer, couldn’t make due to a  scheduling conflict with a workshop in Japan.

I am hoping to see these alumni back next year, and encourage students interested in HCIR to consider an internship at FXPAL in 2013.