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SIGIR 2011 Highlight: “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind”

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

A “highlights” post is meant to call attention to a paper which grabbed our attention and we think is worth your time.  This paper, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: On the Effect of Social and Physical Detachment on Information Need” by Elad Yom-Tov and Fernando Diaz won an honorable mention last week at SIGIR 2011 in Beijing.

This paper examines the effect of social and physical distance on queries for events.  The authors examined three cases: the San Bruno, CA gas line explosion of 9/9/2010, a violent storm in New York City that took place on 9/16/2010, and the 2010 Senate election in Alaska.  Data came from a query log of Yahoo! users.  Physical distance was computed using the profile zipcode of each user, and social distance was computed using the zip codes of instant messenger buddies.

The paper finds, perhaps not surprisingly, that the volume of queries related to each event decreases with distance and time from the event, and that searchers with closer geographical and social ties both query more, and query for different kinds of information.

I especially like this view of social search, and of local vs. general-informational search.  I would love to see work on this covering more events and events with a wider range of impact.  The selected events were ones that have a local focus but which achieved nationwide attention in the United States.  It would be interesting to look at events with a longer time-frame (trials, evolving events) and to consider if there are events that have a larger impact socially than geographically.

@inproceedings{Yom-Tov:2011:OSO:2009916.2009970,
 author = {Yom-Tov, Elad and Diaz, Fernando},
 title = {Out of sight, not out of mind: on the effect of social 
          and physical detachment on information need},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 34th international ACM SIGIR conference 
              on Research and development in Information},
 series = {SIGIR '11},
 year = {2011},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-0757-4},
 location = {Beijing, China},
 pages = {385--394},
 numpages = {10},
 url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2009916.2009970},
 doi = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2009916.2009970},
 acmid = {2009970},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {distance, information, need, physical, social},
}

SIGIR 2011 Previews

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Accepted SIGIR 2011 authors have started posting their papers online, so I have decided to collect them here.  Please comment on the ones you think are the most interesting and important.  As I get more papers, I’ll edit this post to add them.

http://bit.ly/iYr7HB Nima Asadi, Don Metzler, Tamer Elsayed, and Jimmy Lin, “Pseudo Test Collections for Learning Web Search Ranking Functions”

Evangelos Kanoulas, Ben Carterette, Paul D. Clough, and Mark Sanderson, “Evaluating Multi-Query Sessions”

Michael Bendersky, Don Metzler, and Bruce Croft, “Parameterized Concept Weighting in Verbose Queries”

http://bit.ly/iAel3e Rodrygo L. T. Santos, Craig Macdonald, and Iadh Ounis, “Intent-Aware Search Result Diversification”

http://bit.ly/iTiNhJ Elad Yom-Tov, Fernando Diaz, “Out of sight, not out of mind: On the effect of social and physical detachment on information need”

http://bit.ly/jxV5BV Tetsuya Sakai and Ruihua Song, “Evaluating Diversified Search Results Using Per-intent Graded Relevance”

http://bit.ly/jTrdQD Ferhan Ture, Tamer Elsayed, and Jimmy Lin. “No Free Lunch: Brute Force vs. Locality-Sensitive Hashing for Cross-lingual Pairwise Similarity”

http://bit.ly/loeoAh Ben Carterette, “System Effectiveness, User Models, and User Utility: A Conceptual Framework for Investigation”

http://bit.ly/jH2vNX Manos Tsagkias, Maarten de Rijke, and Wouter Weerkamp, “Hypergeometric Language Models for Republished Article Finding”

http://bit.ly/kVfJpQ Wouter Weerkamp, Bogomil Kovachev, Richard Berendsen, Edgar Meij, Krisztian Balog, and Maarten de Rijke, “People Searching for People: Analysis of a People Search Engine Log”

http://bit.ly/iX0ZZj Daveid Elsweiler, Morgan Harvey, Martin Hacker, “Understanding Re-finding behavior in Naturalistic Email Interaction Logs”

http://bit.ly/loqQ57 David Elsweiler, David E. Losada, José Carlos Toucedo, Ronald T. Fernández, “Seeding Simulated Queries with User-study Data for Personal Search Evaluation”

http://tinyurl.com/3bsxql5 Aleksander Stupar and Sebastian Michel, “PICASSO – To Sing you must Close Your Eyes and Draw”

http://bit.ly/kYjT39 Avishek Anand, Srikanta Bedathur, Klaus Berberich, Ralf Schenkel, “Temporal Index Sharding for Space-Time Efficiency in Archive Search”

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