The Noisy Channel


Writing a Book on Faceted Search

February 10th, 2009 · 15 Comments · Uncategorized

I’ve been slowly telling friends and family about my upcoming project, but now that it’s published online, I thought I’d share the news more publicly: I’m writing a book about faceted search. It will be part of the Morgan & Claypool series of Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services, edited by none other than Gary Marchionini.

I discovered this series a few months ago, when Gary recruited me to review another book in the series, a lecture on exploratory search by Ryen White and Resa Roth. Perhaps my most significant contribution was to suggest the subtitle they ultimately used.

In any case, I was impressed with the book and more generally with the series, so I humbly asked Gary what might be involved in contributing to it. The next thing I knew, I was signing a  contract to write a book on faceted search!

I’m very excited about this book, even though I’m aware that it will take a toll on the rest of my personal and professional life as I work on it. I’m grateful to Gary and to the folks at Morgan & Claypool for giving me the chance to write it. I do ask your indulgence as readers if I slow down a bit as I divert some of my cycles to writing rather than blogging. I’ll try to make up for it by sharing some of my observations about the differences between blogging and old-fashioned writing.

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Maura // Feb 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

    This is great news! I can’t wait to read it.

  • 2 Jon // Feb 10, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Congratulations — looks like you’re in good company.

  • 3 Daniel Tunkelang // Feb 10, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Thanks, guys. It’s intimidating to write something the size of my dissertation when I thought I’d never do that again, but fortunately the requirements are quite different. I’m looking forward to bringing together so much of the research that I’ve been reading over the past decade and distilling it into a readily consumable (but hopefully still meaty) form.

  • 4 Max L. Wilson // Feb 11, 2009 at 6:52 am

    awesome. i’m sure it will be a great book. good job.

  • 5 Max L. Wilson // Feb 11, 2009 at 6:53 am

    and i think all the better for having access to the corporate experience, rather than purely from the academic world.

  • 6 Avi Rappoport // Feb 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I really hope you include the pioneering work by Professor Marti Hearst of UC Berkeley. She was the earliest and best proponent of faceted search that I know, and her research gave us all confidence that what *felt* right really *was* right.

    She’s at and you’re welcome to say that I sent you!


  • 7 Daniel Tunkelang // Feb 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Avi, I know Marti quite well, but I appreciate your making sure of it. And of course I’ll write about her Flamenco work, which I’ve happily featured in a number of presentations (like this one). But there was even earlier work on faceted search by Steve Pollitt at the University of Huddersfield (though he called it view-based searching).

    You might want to take a look at the faceted search Wikipedia entry.

  • 8 Sol Lederman // Feb 18, 2009 at 11:19 am


    I’m excited to read about your upcoming book. I’ve touched on Endeca in the Federated Search Blog in the past and look forward to reviewing your book for the blog.

  • 9 Twitter’s “Real-Time Search” Ain’t That Hard | The Noisy Channel // Mar 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

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  • 10 Dave Fauth // Mar 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Congratulations. Can’t wait to pick up a copy.

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  • 12 Ann Guo // Apr 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Can’t wait to read it! If you need a guinea pig to try out some of your chapters, I’d be happy to oblige.

  • 13 Daniel Tunkelang // Apr 15, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks! I’m committed to submitting the draft by May 1st for official review. But I’d welcome unofficial reviewers and will put out a call for them when I have a draft to share.

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