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Integrating IR technologies for Professional Search

24 March 2013, Moscow,Russia

Background, motivation

When search technology comes to professional search and specific domains (e.g. patent, medical, scientific literature, media) it is notable to mention that search systems have been used for more than 30 years now as an important method for information access. However, as search technologies are being used increasingly in the workplace as a result of the explosion of content becoming electronically available, and the workers are becoming more knowledgeable about new search technologies and tools, many more demands are placed upon professional search systems, demands which are not properly addressed by the underlying “isolated” model (both in terms of data and interaction) which general purpose traditional search systems support.

These demands include the fact that information is usually available from many distributed information sources, it comes in different modalities and perhaps in different languages. Usually an exploratory type of search is needed which is typically characterized by recall-oriented information needs and by high uncertainty and evolution or change of the information need. Additionally, the complexity of the tasks which need to be performed by professional searchers which usually include not only retrieval but also information analysing and monitoring tasks, usually require association, pipelining and possibly integration of information as well as synchronization and coordination of multiple and potentially concurrent search views produced from different datasets, search tools and UIs.

Aims of the Workshop

Many facets of IR technology (e.g. exploratory search, aggregated search, federated search, task-based search, IR over query sessions, cognitive IR approaches, HCIR) aim to at least partially address these demands. To facilitate integration of the results of all these IR technologies a generalised framework is needed which will allow to address not only how to aggregate or merge content from multiple sources or specialised search services, but will also focus on the needs of professional workers using search systems, and how they need to interact with multiple search tools and UIs and use different IR technologies to cope with the complexity of retrieving, finding, understanding and analysing information in their workplace.

This workshop aims to stimulate exploratory research and to bring together various facets of IR research and to promote the discussion between researchers towards the development of a generalised framework facilitating the integration of IR technologies and search tools into next generation professional search systems. This envisioned framework should be supported from new or the extension of existing protocols (e.g. OpenSearch protocol) and may influence the design of next generation professional search systems.