Tutorial on CIS at SIGIR 2012 conference

I’m really looking forward to engaging this year’s SIGIR attendees in a half-day tutorial on the subject of collaborative information seeking (CIS)! Following is the summary of the tutorial. Hope to see you in Portland for this (and SIGIR, of course)!

The course will introduce the student to theories, methodologies, and tools that focus on information retrieval/seeking in collaboration. The student will have an opportunity to learn about the social aspect of IR with a focus on collaborative information retrieval and seeking (CIR and CIS) situations, systems, and evaluation techniques.

The assumption of information seekers being independent and IR problem being individual has been challenged often in the recent past, with an argument that the next big leap in search and retrieval will come through incorporating social and collaborative aspects of information seeking. This course will introduce such works to the students, with an emphasis on understanding models and systems that support collaborative search or browsing. To put CIS in perspective, the course will show the students how various related concepts, such as collaborative information behavior (CIB), co-browsing, co-search, collaborative filtering, can be placed on the dimensions of human-system and explicitness-implicitness along with CIR and CIS for exploration and developmental needs, as well as evaluation purposes. Specifically, the course will (1) outline the research and latest developments in the field of collaborative IR, (2) list the challenges for designing and evaluating collaborative IR systems, and (3) show how traditional single user IR models and systems could be mapped to those for CIS. This will be achieved through introduction to appropriate literature, algorithms and interfaces that facilitate CIS, and methodologies for studying and evaluating them. Thus, the course will offer a balance between theoretical and practical elements of CIS.

The course is intended for those interested in social and collaborative aspects of IR (from both academia and industry), and requires only a general understanding of IR systems and evaluation.