CIR paper at SIGIR 2014 conference

I’m very happy to report that our paper on Collaborative Information Retrieval (CIR) is accepted for the ACM SIGIR 2014 conference, to be held in July in Gold Coast, Australia.

Here’s the full citation:
Soulier, L., Shah, C., & Tamine, L. (2014). User-Driven System-Mediated Collaborative Information Retrieval. Proceedings of ACM SIGIR 2014 Conference. Gold Coast, Australia: July 6-10, 2014.

And here’s the abstract:
Most of the previous approaches surrounding collaborative information retrieval (CIR) provide either a user-based mediation, in which the system only supports users’ collaborative activities, or a system-based mediation, in which the system plays an active part in balancing user roles, re-ranking results, and distributing them to optimize overall retrieval performance. In this paper, we propose to combine both of these approaches by a role mining methodology that learns from users’ actions about the retrieval strategy they adapt. This hybrid method aims at showing how users are different and how to use these differences for suggesting roles. The core of the method is expressed as an algorithm that (1) monitors users’ actions in a CIR setting; (2) discovers differences among the collaborators along certain dimensions; and (3) suggests appropriate roles to make the most out of individual skills and optimize IR performance. Our approach is empirically evaluated and relies on two different laboratory studies involving 70 pairs of users. Our experiments show promising results that highlight how role mining could optimize the collaboration within a search session. The contributions of this work include a new algorithm for mining user roles in collaborative IR, an evaluation methodology, and a new approach to improve IR performance with the operationalization of user-driven system-mediated collaboration.

Introduction to CIS video

Proponents of collaborative information seeking discuss why supporting people’s innate behavior and the need for working together while seeking and using information are important to software engineering. Featured speakers include Chirag Shah, Rob Capra, Madhu Reddy, Meredith Ringel Morris, Roberto González-Ibáñez, and Michael B. Twidale. From IEEE Computer‘s March 2014 issue.

Coagmento Collaboratory

We are happy to announce the availability of Coagmento Collaboratory – an open-source toolkit for constructing user studies with individual or collaborative users.

Coagmento Collaboratory is a version of Coagmento designed to be:

  • Modularized: Coagmento Collaboratory splits up functionality into separate classes which are easier to understand and maintain
  • Extendable: We provide stateless web-services so you can develop your own tools on top of our framework.
  • Documented: Coagmento Collaboratory is well documented through GitHub.

The framework contains the following:

  • Core classes which provide the foundation for Coagmento Collaboratory giving APIs for accessing user data (Bookmarks, Snippets, etc.) and research studies (Projects, Stages)
  • Web-services for accessing the core classes through HTTP requests
  • The Firefox plugin which uses the web-services as an example of practical usage of Coagmento Collaboratory

Find more information and download links from Note that we are still continuing to do more development and welcome contributions from others interested in this project. Comments and feedback always welcome!