[Elsnet-list] New Informer - Autumn 2012

Kruschwitz U udo at essex.ac.uk
Thu Nov 8 17:26:17 CET 2012

Informer: Autumn 2012 Issue Out Now!



By Udo Kruschwitz

Welcome to our autumn 2012 edition of Informer! This is the time of the 
year when we are all looking forward to THE annual highlight, the AGM of 
the BCS IRSG. And here comes our first request: do come along if you 
want to have an impact on the group’s activities. Join the committee and 
help shape the future of the IRSG. And while you are in London, why not 
attend Search Solutions as well? This is our annual autumn event where 
we invite a number of high-profile speakers representing a range of 
interests and stakeholders, what they have in common is that they all 
work on search-related issues.

::: Read more at: http://irsg.bcs.org/informer/2012/11/editorial-4/


Where am I? Techniques for wayfinding and navigation in faceted search
By Tony Russell-Rose

Faceted search enables users to intuitively explore complex information 
spaces by progressively refining their choices in each dimension. When 
combined with keyword search, this approach becomes incredibly powerful: 
so much so that faceted search is now the dominant interaction paradigm 
for most eCommerce sites and is being applied to an increasingly diverse 
range of search and discovery applications.

However, with this power comes a challenge: given the ease with which 
information spaces can be explored, what techniques should be employed 
to communicate the user’s current location and navigation options within 
that space? And how should these mechanisms be extended to facilitate 
further exploration of that space? This post looks at some of the main 
techniques and reviews their strengths and weaknesses

::: Read more at: 


The Future of Information
By Tyler Tate

Web pages are dead. The future of information and how people interact 
with it is undergoing a profound metamorphosis. Our eulogy must begin 
long before web pages were conceived. Before the Internet, there was the 
written word; the book was the preeminent artefact for disseminating and 
assimilating information.

In their early form, books were scrawled on scrolls. Scarcely a format 
conducive for rapidly jumping from place to place, scrolls were intended 
to be read linearly. Despite this constraint, the first tables of 
contents were developed for scroll manuscripts. In the first century 
A.D., for instance, Pliny the Elder preceded his 37-volume Natural 
History with a detailed table of contents (Forsythe, 2012). Such tables 
distilled the contents of a work into a taxonomy of volumes, sections, 
and chapters so that a reader would not have to scroll through the 
entire work to find their topic of interest.

::: Read more at: 


Conference Review: SIGIR 2012
By Ronan Cummins & Pablo Castells

SIGIR 2012 was hosted by Oregon Health & Science University in Portland 
Oregon. The conference was held at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront 
Hotel. While many conference attendees acquired residence at the 
conference venue, others were dispersed throughout lodgings in the 
downtown area. The busy five day schedule consisted of three days of 
main conference proceedings (including an industry day), bookended by 
tutorials and workshops respectively.

::: Read more at: 


Book Review : Doing Design Ethnography
By Paul Matthews

"I think the most important thing in ethnography is simply getting 
designers sensitive to the issues the the people who use systems 
confront (Techies) can do all sorts of wild and wacky and wonderful 
things. The user is just this vague symbolic presence in all this and I 
do very seriously think that that what ethnographers should be able to 
do is get designers used to the idea that users are real people with 
real practical issues" - Dave Randall

This quote is taken from the opening chapter of this book on ethnography 
in design by three senior researchers and faculty at Nottingham and 
Lancaster universities  pioneers in applying ethnography to  Computer 
Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The book is aimed at practitioners 
and students and this early chapter introduces the issues through a 
lively and accessible dialog, with the subsequent chapters going deeper 
into the authors’ philosophy and ways of doing ethnography

::: Read more at: 


The MUMIA Summer School: Building Next Generation Search Systems
By Michael Oakes

A Summer Training School, entitled Building next generation search 
systems, was organised by the MUMIA (Multi-lingual and Multifaceted 
Interactive Information Access) Cost Action (www.mumia-network.eu), and 
held from 24th to 28th September 2012 in Chalkidiki, Greece. Twenty one 
PhD students and early stage researchers attended the training school. A 
unifying theme around several of the talks was patent search. Patent 
searches typically involve long queries, the documents are classified by 
topic and are authored by professionals, and are domain specific. In 
contrast, general web searches involve short queries, the documents are 
not classified by topic, are often authored by amateurs and web pages 
and blogs tend to be domain independent.

::: Read more at: 


Book Review: Multilingual Information Retrieval - From Research to Practice
By Jolanta Pietraszko

The fundamental concept of Multilingual Information Retrieval is 
computer usage aimed at surmounting language boundaries both for 
information in the WWW and for many other purposes, such as military 
intelligence or defense, international trading, inventions or 
international relations between countries, not to mention the most 
common use - human communication. In 2004 the highest number of 
candidate countries ever joined the EU - since then on the strong 
necessity to translate all the official documents into other languages 
has resulted in a requirement to develop new technologies for automatic 
search, translation and in some cases information summarisation..

::: Read more at: 


Events Diary
By Andy Macfarlane

::: Read more at: http://irsg.bcs.org/informer/2012/11/autumn2012/


::: Opportunities for Authors :::

If you are an expert in information retrieval or any aspect of search 
who has strong writing skills, we invite you to contribute to Informer. 
Please send an article proposal to us at: irsg at bcs.org.

For more information about the BCS IRSG, please go to:

::: http://irsg.bcs.org/about.php


::: About Informer :::

Informer is the quarterly newsletter of the BCS Information Retrieval 
Specialist Group (IRSG). Its aim is to provide insights and inspiration 
to researchers and professionals working in all aspects of search and 
information retrieval. Our articles provide accessible and timely 
coverage of important topics, ranging from focused, practical advice, to 
concise overviews of broader topics, and to deeper, research-oriented 
articles and opinion pieces.

The IRSG is a Specialist Group of BCS. Its mission is to provide a focus 
for the European IR community, facilitate communication between 
researchers and practitioners and promote the adoption of IR research 
within industry. We host a major European conference (ECIR) and provide 
an assopciated programme of workshops, seminars and events. The IRSG is 
free to join via the BCS website, which provides access to further IR 
articles, events and resources.

BCS is the industry body for IT professionals. With members in over 100 
countries around the world, BCS is the leading professional and learned 
society in the field of computers and information systems.


::: Visit Informer at http://irsg.bcs.org/informer/

::: If you have comments, questions, or suggestions for Informer, please 
contact us at irsg at bcs.org

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