Entries from August 2008

Improving The Noisy Channel: A Call for Ideas

August 28th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Over the past five months, this blog has grown from a suggestion Jeff Dalton put in my ear to a community to which I’m proud to belong. Some milestones: Over 70 posts to date. 94 subscribers, as reported by Google Reader. 100 unique visitors on.a typical day. To be honest, I thought I’d struggle to […]

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Transparency in Information Retrieval

August 27th, 2008 · 12 Comments · General

It’s been hard to find time to write another post while keeping up with the comment stream on my previous post about set retrieval! I’m very happy to see this level of interest, and I hope to continue catalyzing such discussions. Today, I’d like to discuss transparency in the context of information retrieval. Transparency is […]

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Set Retrieval vs. Ranked Retrieval

August 24th, 2008 · 30 Comments · General

After last week’s post about a racially targeted web search engine, you’d think I’d avoid controversy for a while. To the contrary, I now feel bold enough like to bring up what I have found to be my most controversial position within the information retrieval community: my preference for set retrieval over ranked retrieval. This […]

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Back from the Cone of Silence

August 23rd, 2008 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

Regular readers may have noticed the lack of posts this week. My apologies to anyone who was waiting by the RSS feed. Yesterday was the submission deadline for HCIR ’08, which means that today is a new day! So please stay tuned for your regularly scheduled programming.

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Thinking Outside the Black Box

August 16th, 2008 · 9 Comments · General

I was reading Techmeme today, and I noticed an LA Times article about RushmoreDrive, described on its About Us page as “a first-of-its-kind search engine for the Black community.” My first reaction, blogged by others already, was that this idea was dumb and racist. In fact, it took some work to find positive commentary about […]

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New Information Retrieval Book Available Online

August 15th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Props to Jeff Dalton for alerting me about the new book on information retrieval by Christopher Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, and Hinrich Sch├╝tze. You can buy a hard copy, but you can also access it online for free at the book website.

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David Huynh’s Freebase Parallax

August 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment · General

One of the perks of working in HCIR is that you get to meet some of the coolest people in academic and industrial research. I met David Huynh a few years ago, while he was a graduate student at MIT, working in the Haystack group and on the Simile project. You’ve probably seen some of […]

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Conversation with Seth Grimes

August 13th, 2008 · 1 Comment · General

I had an great conversation with Intelligent Enterprise columnist Seth Grimes today. Apparently there’s an upside to writing critical commentary on Google’s aspirations in the enterprise! One of the challenges in talking about enterprise search is that no one seems to agree on what it is. Indeed, as I’ve been discussing with Ryan Shaw , […]

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Position papers for NSF IS3 Workshop

August 11th, 2008 · Comments Off · General

I just wanted to let folks know that the position papers for the NSF Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop are now available at this link. Here is a listing to whet your curiosity: Supporting Interaction and Familiarity James Allan, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA From Web Search to Exploratory Search: Can we get there from […]

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Why Enterprise Search Will Never Be Google-y

August 10th, 2008 · 4 Comments · General

As I prepared to end my trilogy of Google-themed posts, I ran into two recently published items. They provide an excellent context for what I intended to talk about: the challenges and opportunities of enterprise search. The first is Google’s announcement of an upgrade to their search appliance that allows one box to index 10 […]

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