Blog Archive: 2010

IIiX 2010 Proceedings

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The proceedings of IIiX 2010 are finally available through the ACM Digital Library! In addition, it turns out that ACM has a special series page that links to all IIiX proceedings. In addition, here are the slides from Tefko Saracevic’s keynote address.

The Best Paper award winner was a paper by Sanna Kumpulainen and Kalervo Järvelin (University of Tampere, Finland) titled “Information Interaction in Molecular Medicine: Integrated Use of Multiple Channels.” Two other papers were nominated: “Evaluating search systems using result page context” by Bailey, et al., and “Supporting polyrepresentation in a quantum-inspired geometrical retrieval framework” by Frommholz et al. The Best Poster award was shared by Loizides and Buchanan “Performing Document Triage on Small Screen Devices. Part 1: Structured Documents” and Liu et al., “Identifying Queries in the Wild, Wild Web.”

The Copenhagen Interpretation

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The IIiX conference series (the latest installment of which took place recently at Rutgers University) arose from IRiX (Information Retrieval In conteXt) workshops (2004, 2005) held in conjunction with SIGIR 2004 and 2005. The workshops were organized by what I think of as the Scandinavian contingent of the IR community — the likes of Peter Ingwersen, Kalervo Järvelin, Pia Borlund, Birger Larsen and others — who collectively represented a more user-centered (as opposed to system-centered) approach to studying information retrieval. Yes, others were involved, but it still seems that the Scandinavians somehow inspired and led the movement. Given the success of the workshops, they organized the IIiX conference series to create a more formal venue for these topics.

One of the highlights of the 2010 conference was a debate between the system camp and the user camp about the value of simulating users. (See Saturday August 21 in the program.) This was a reprise of the theme of a workshop held at this year’s SIGIR conference, this time on the other side’s turf.

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Session-based search slides

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Here are the slides of the presentation I gave at the IIiX 2010 conference. I presented work done in collaboration with Jeremy Pickens on session-based search. The paper is here; the talk highlights some of the theoretical considerations and gives some examples of the new interface we’re building.

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IIiX2010 Doctoral Consortium

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The IIiX 2010 Doctoral Consortium was a rather intense ten hours filled with great ideas and discussion. We had 11 students and six advisers, representing a broad range of universities and areas of interest related to information seeking. Each student made a 20-25 minute presentation, followed by questions from the advisers and from other students; in addition, there were two 45 minute one-one-one sessions during which students received feedback from an adviser, and also from another student.

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Session-based search

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Exploratory search often takes place over time. Searchers may run multiple queries to understand the collection, to refine their information needs, or to explore various aspects of the topic of interest. Many web search engines keep a history of a user’s actions: Bing makes that history readily available for backtracking, and all major search engines presumably use the click-through history of search results to affect subsequent searches. Yahoo Search Pad diagnoses exploratory search situations and switches to a more elaborate note-taking mode to help users manage the found information.

But none of these approaches makes it easy for a searcher to manage an on-going exploratory search. So what could be done differently? We explore this topic in a paper we’ll be presenting at the IIiX 2010 conference this August. Our paper reviews the literature on session-based search, and proposes a framework for designing interactions around information seeking. This framework uses the structure of the process of exploratory search to help searchers reflect on their actions and on the retrieved results. It treats queries, terms, metadata, documents, sets of queries, and sets of documents as first-class objects that the user can manipulate, and describes how information seeking context can be preserved across these transitions.

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CFP: IIiX 2010

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If you are doing research in interactive information retrieval, information seeking, collaborative search, and the like (that is, you’re concerned with what users do when they look for information), you might consider submitting  paper to IIiX 2010.

IIiX will explore the relationships between the contexts that affect information retrieval and information seeking, how these contexts impact information behavior, and how knowledge of information contexts and information behaviors can help design truly interactive information systems.

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