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Posts Tagged ‘Boolean’

On Friday I was privileged to present a paper called ‘Towards Explainability in Professional Search‘ at the 3rd International Workshop on ExplainAble Recommendation and Search (EARS 2020), part of SIGIR 2020. This paper was co-presented with my colleague Andy MacFarlane of City University, and represents our collective thoughts and recommendations on how to develop more transparent, reproducible and explainable systems in professional search. Understandably, given our respective geographic locations the presentation was made remotely, and we are thankful for the local attendees who stayed around until 22:00 (local time) for our talk. The slides are available below. We view these recommendations as a conversation starter rather than the last word, so comments & feedback are particularly welcome. The paper itself is available for download from the EARS website.

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Last week I was privileged to present at the Singapore Chapter of ISKO on the topic of “Putting search theory to work on large datasets“. Understandably, given our respective geographic locations this presentation was made remotely, but I’m pleased to say we had a good attendance and a very informative discussion. Big thanks go to Patrick Lambe, Maish Nichani and Mark Garlinghouse for making this happen. The slides are available below, and the video should follow shortly. As always, comments & feedback welcome 🙂

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Weave Journal of Library User Experience

I’m pleased to report that our paper ‘Designing the Structured Search Experience: Rethinking the Query-Builder Paradigm‘ has finally come out in Weave: Journal of Library User Experience. It’s been a long time in the making, partly as Weave comes out only twice a year, but mostly as we wanted to include some key changes and updates from our latest work. What makes this paper different is that for the first time we’ve had the scope and mandate to explore the UX issues in some depth. Whereas in previous papers we’ve rather glossed over these things as ‘simply good design’ or ‘what UX practitioners are meant to just get on and do’, in this paper we took the opportunity to demonstrate how solving a challenge like this involves a level of nuance and complexity that may not be immediately apparent to the untrained eye, and moreover, that what you see in the deployed app is actually the culmination of significant design exploration and thinking – much of which ends up on the ‘cutting room floor’. Even just the algorithm for painting the iteratively nested containers (in alternating white/blue) was non-trivial, as you need to avoid edges where boxes meet at different level of nesting, i.e. resulting in a white on white or blue on blue boundary. Ironically tho, that bit of detail, interesting tho it is, didn’t make the final cut: you’ll have to wait for a subsequent blog post for that 🙂

Anyway, feedback so far has been very informative. Keep it coming in! New release coming soon, so happy to accommodate thoughts & suggestions. Abstract appended below.

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A key task in formulating effective search strategies is the identification of appropriate keywords and controlled vocabulary terms. Interactive features such as query expansion can play a key role in supporting these tasks. In this presentation we investigate a variety of methods for interactive query expansion based on manually curated resources (e.g. ontologies and terminologies) and on distributional methods (e.g. unsupervised machine learning). The results demonstrate the utility of distributional models and the value of using ngram order to optimise precision and recall. This work was due to be presented at the ISKO UK event Using knowledge organization to deliver content (which will hopefully be rescheduled later this year).

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Last week I was privileged to present at the London Information and Knowledge Exchange (LIKE) on the topic of “Think outside the search box: a AI-based approach to search strategy formulation“. LIKE are unusual in that their meetings often take place in the evening, accompanied by drinks and dinner. I’d not presented in a pub before, at least not over dinner, and had to work hard to resist the temptation to segue into some sort of ill-advised attempt at stand up comedy. It’s amazing what the combination of a hand held mic and a pint of Young’s pale ale can do…

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