ESSIR 2011, Day 3

Today Ricardo Baeza-Yates was the keynote speaker. He is very famous researcher in the field of Information Retrieval and leads the Yahoo! Research Labs. The keynote was mostly about webscale algorithms and some interesting IR insights. One of them is the notion of adversarial level of access for the internet which seems to be more than just public. Another interesting thing is that this year’s internet usage research showed there are about 400million of servers and 800million of clients – so there exits 1 server for 2 clients. Another phenomenon is that many people think Google PageRank is still very important, but it is only one of the many features at Learning To Rank task.

Keynote presentation:

The next speaker Andreas Hotho talked about IR in Social Media. He focused on collaborative tagging, folksonomies and some network properties (for example on At their site a number of documents are tagged for bookmarks sharing or scientific use. By Golder & Huberman the tags could be clustered into 7 groups. To me the more interesting notions seem the definition of Folksonomies – “Folksonomies allow users to assign tags to resources”, and Logsonomies – “Logsonomies allow users to assign resources to query terms”. At the end he also mentioned his algorithm FolkRank (it’s purpose can be identified from the name) and some recommendations for folksonomies.

Another interesting product he mentioned is also Piggy Bank – Firefox plugin, developed at MIT and is intended to extract data from the web depending on manually predefined site scrappers.

Andreas’ presentations:

The last lecture was conducted by Tran Duc Thanh, which has recently got his PhD and is very successful scientist. He was lecturing about semantic search. At slides around 22 there are some indentical ideas to our IOBIE system. Then the majority of the talk was about matching at three dimensions and top-K algorithms for ranking. The ObjectRanking (slide 63) could be useful for ranking recognized entities in IOBIE.

The last session was the Plenary Discussion – Sharing PhD experiences and recommendations from ESSIR lecturers. Some interesting answers / reccomendations were (mostly by Ricardo):

  • “Research, you have to live it”
  • “Do not think what you have to do – just do it!”
  • “Why do you need PhD to start the company?”
  • “Do PhD or not?”, “Depends on passion. If not sure, do not do it.”
  • For PhD research you need a life-label: “Invent problems, …, incremental research may not be appropriate”
  • “Go to as many seminars as you can, even if you do not understand the title.”

The most I liked the following one: “If you get through PhD, you are emotionally robust!

Our ESSIR lecturers during the discussion:

In the evening we went to the informal walk around Koblenz, guided by dr. Sergej Sizov, the main organizer of ESSIR 2011.


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