I know the official publicity isn’t due to go out for a little while just yet, but here’s a sneak peek at this year’s lineup for Search Solutions 2014. For those unfamiliar with the event, it is described as:

… a special one-day event dedicated to the latest innovations in web & enterprise search. In contrast to other major industry events, Search Solutions aims to be highly interactive, with attendance strictly limited. The programme includes presentations, panels and keynote talks by influential industry leaders on novel and emerging applications in search and information retrieval.

As last year we’ll be preceding the event with a tutorials day on November 26, which will offer conference attendees and local participants a stimulating and informative selection of practical training courses reflecting current topics and state-of-the-art methods in search and information retrieval. More on that later! Meanwhile, here is the provisional programme thus far:

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I’m pleased to announce the line up for EuroHCIR 2014, which will be held at BCS London on September 13. This event is the fourth HCIR event to be held outside of the US, and as such represents a critical point in the development of the HCIR community in Europe. We’re just in the process of finalizing the programme, which will include 7 presentations, a keynote speaker and an evening social. We also hope to include an interactive group session in the afternoon – more on that later. In the meantime, I’ve appended the full list of accepted papers below. More details on the EuroHCIR website. Hope to see you there!

EuroHCIR 2014, London, 13 Sept 2014

4th European Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval
– 13th Sept 2014 – BCS Offices, London, UK
– Between DL2014 (8-12 Sept, London) & CLEF2014 (15-18 Sept, Sheffield UK)

Key Points

- Keynote: m.c. schraefel – HCIR and Health Data
– 7 Accepted Papers announced
– Registration Open!
– Website: http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~mlw/euroHCIR2014/

Registration Open


Earlybird ends 31st Aug 2014

Keynote: m.c. schraefel

Title: ONLY YOU CAN SAVE HUMANITY: the urgent need for HCIR genius in Proactive Health Interactive Tech Design

Abstract – Researchers inn HCIR have a terrific opportunity to help make the world a better place very much in the near term. The challenge is to get enough of us together contributing to this new space to make a scalable demonstrable difference. This space is *in*-bodied health – not health as a medical condition; not health treating someone like they need to change their habits or do more push ups – but health as a social aspiration. That is, where health is not just about an individual, but is a social priority, where we design our cultural artefacts and infrastructures to support that quality of life.

At a recent Dagstuhl Workshop on Grand Challenges for Interactive Technologies to support this concept of Proactive Health, two of the five challenges that emerged are particularly germane to HCIR’s engagement in these challenges:  Measures and Motivation. In Measures, particularly related to IR, three areas were of particular interest: to understand first and foremost what are the kinds of data we wish to collect personally and socially around proactive health. We have an opportunity to develop new mechanisms to support meaningful capture of qualitative data with any quantitative data. What is Big Qualitative Data?. How do we do this capture in a scalable way? We likewise have the opportunity not just to run machine learning over quantitative data, but to iterate back with those who have provided data to see if our models resonate, and refine them, collectively.  Also, we can prioritise exploration of the Long Tails of our data – we are not constrained to look for the norms of a medical Randomised Controlled Trial; we can spend time with the other ends of the distributions.  For the HCI side of these challenges, how do we design systems to help capture this data to understand current health practice and aspirational practices at scale, pro bono, for the good? With an eye to exploratory search, how do we help people explore these collections of information – to which they may themselves be contributing – to understand questions like – am i normal? how am i doing? what’s the minimal effective dose to improve what’s important to me – which may be to stay alert at work, not run a half marathon.

In this talk, i’d like to offer first a model to help HCIR researchers understand proactive health to support proactive health design on the data/interaction side. Second, i propose to review these two challenges on measures and motivation, and offer a few examples we’ve been exploring in this space, namely: goFit, future ghosts, and experiment in a box. A goal of this presentation will be to explore what we ourselves need as researchers to better coordinate our research efforts to realise our potential to have a noticeable social impact for quality of life.

Bio – m.c. schraefel, phd, cscs, c.eng, f.bcs holds the position Professor of Computer Science and Human Performance at the University of Southampton where she leads the Human Systems Interaction Lab.   m.c. is also a certified strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist, movement coach and kettlebell instructor. http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~mc follow mc @mcphoo

Accepted Papers:

  • Serendipity is not bullshit – Stephann Makri (City)
  • Are topic-specific search term, journal name and author name recommendations relevant for researchers? – Philipp Mayr (GESIS)
  • Human-Computer Information Retrieval Design Implications of Big Smart Data Utilisation in the Domain of Digital Humanities – Anastasis Petrou (West London)
  • Improving Cross-Lingual Enterprise Information Access – Marina Santini (SICS East Swedish ICT)
  • Exploring cognitive activity in information interactions – Frances Johnson (Manchester Metropolitan)
  • Applying Cross-cultural theory to understand users’ preferences on interactive information retrieval platform design – Karen Chessum, Haiming Liu and Ingo Frommholz (Bedford)
  • Real-Life Click Behavior under Environmental Stressors – Nikolai Buzikashvili (Russian Academy of Sciences)

Workshop Format & Schedule:

Saturday 13th September 2014
– Key talks and working groups, in the successful format used at the 2013 workshop. Each paper will be briefly presented, and then discussed in groups of differing perspectives, before being reported to everyone in the room.

Aim of Workshop:

In common with the wider HCIR community, this workshop will be focused on, but not limited to, the following topics:

- Exploratory search and information discovery.
– HCIR systems for large collections (e.g. digital libraries, patent retrieval, etc)
– IR systems for extended sessions (e.g. holiday planning, entertainment, and casual browsing)
– Applications of HCI techniques to IR needs in specific domains.
– Modelling and evaluation of HCIR / IR.
– Scale and efficiency considerations for HCIR systems.
– Simulation of extended IR sessions and tasks
– Novel interaction techniques for IR.
– Relevance feedback / active learning approaches for IR.


Birger Larsen (Academia)
Aalborg University
birger – at – hum.aau.dk

Tony Russell-Rose (Industry)
UXLabs, UK
tgr – at – uxlabs.co.uk

Max L. Wilson (Academia)
University of Nottingham, UK
max.wilson – at – nottingham.ac.uk

Kristian Norling (Industry)
Industry Search Consultant, Sweden

Preben Hansen (Academia)
Stockholm University, Sweden
preben – at – dsv.su.se


Related Posts:

  1. Mining search logs for usage patterns (part 2)
  2. A bibliography for enterprise search?
  3. Search usability: filters and facets (training course in London)
  4. A language for search and discovery
  5. How do you measure site search quality?

IRSG logoJust in case you missed it, here are the details of the latest issue of Informer, which came out today. As usual, lots of good stuff, with great mix of feature articles, research pieces and conference reviews. For further details see the Informer website. Or if you fancy becoming a contributor, get in touch!

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Diana Maynard entertains the masses

Diana Maynard entertains the troops

Last week I had the privilege of organising the 13th meeting of the London Text Analytics group, which featured two excellent speakers: Despo Georgiou of Atos SE and Diana Maynard of Sheffield University. Despo’s talk described her internship at UXLabs where she compared a number of tools for analysing free-text survey responses (namely TheySay, Semantria, Google Prediction API and Weka). Diana’s talk focused on sentiment analysis applied to social media, and entertained the 70+ audience with all manner of insights based on her expertise of having worked on the topic for longer than just about anyone I know. Well done to both speakers!

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Just a quick reminder that next Friday (1st August) is the deadline for submissions to EuroHCIR 2014, which I am co-organising with Max Wilson, Birger Larsen, Preben Hansen and Kristian Norling. This is the fourth year we’ve run the event, so we’re hoping for a good set of submissions to keep up momentum. As before, we’re accepting both research and practice-oriented papers, so if you have any queries (particularly about the latter) just drop me a line.

The event itself is on 13 September at BCS London, with a poster session/social scheduled for the evening before. I’ve appended a summary of the call for papers below, and further details can be found at the EuroHCIR 2014 website. Hope to see you there!

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Expectation Maximization applied to a new sample of 100,000 sessions

In a previous post I discussed some initial investigations into the use of unsupervised learning techniques (i.e. clustering) to identify usage patterns in web search logs. As you may recall, we had some initial success in finding interesting patterns of user behaviour in the AOL log, but when we tried to extend this and replicate a previous study of the Excite log, things started to go somewhat awry. In this post, we investigate these issues, present the results of a revised procedure, and reflect on what they tell us about searcher behaviour.

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AIIM: Enterprise Search

I am in the process of creating a bibliography / list of key books & papers on Enterprise Search. I’m ideally looking for peer-reviewed, published works, from either a practitioner or researcher perspective, but am also interested in well-regarded online resources. Here are a few that immediately spring to mind:

  • Martin White, Enterprise Search. O’Reilly Media, 2012
  • Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, Modern Information Retrieval. Addison Wesley, 2010. (See Chapter 15)
  • Ron Miller, Unlock the Power of Enterprise Search. EContent Magazine, 2008.
  • David Hawking, Challenges in Enterprise Search, Proceedings of the Australasian Database Conference, 2004.
  • R. Mukherjee and J. Mao, Enterprise search: Tough stuff. Queue, 2(2), 2004.

And there are various online resources, e.g.

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