SIGIR ’09 Industry Track Program

At long last, SIGIR 2009 has posted the program for the Industry Track! It will take place on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 during the regular conference program (in parallel with the technical tracks). There is no additional registration fee for full conference attendees, but there is a one-day registration option for people who only want to attend the Industry Track.

Here’s the condensed version of the program:


  • Matt Cutts, Google: “Web Spam and Adversarial IR: The Road Ahead”
  • danah boyd, Microsoft Research: “The Searchable Nature of Acts in Networked Publics”
  • Vanja Josifovski, Yahoo! Research: “Ad Retrieval – A new Frontier of Information Retrieval”
  • Thomas (Tom) Tague, Thomson Reuters: “Semantic Web and the Linked Data Economy”
  • Tip House, OCLC:  “Alexandria 2.0: Search Innovations Keep Libraries Relevant in an Online World”

Panel of Search Industry Analysts

  • Whit Andrews, Gartner
  • Susan Feldman, IDC
  • Theresa Regli, CMS Watch

Panel of Enterprise Search Vendors

  • Øystein Torbjørnsen, FAST
  • Peter Menell, Autonomy
  • Adam Ferrari, Endeca

More details are available on the the Industry Track page. The early registration deadline is this Sunday, May 24th, so please register soon if you haven’t already, before the fees go up by $50.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

5 replies on “SIGIR ’09 Industry Track Program”

Hmm.. I’ve been hearing about spam and adversarial IR from Google for at least the last 7 years. Isn’t there some other/better topic? I understand spam continues to be a challenge. But I’d be more interesting in hearing about growth-challenges, than limitation-challenges.

Then again, I guess my attitude is that if they supported more Exploratory Search, spam would really not be much of a challenge. I see it as extremely difficult for a spammer to know how to rank highly as a user starts interactively moving through the collection.

It’s only when your main goal is non-interactive, non-transparent precision-oriented fact lookup and navigation, that spam is even an issue. Time for a little jujitsu on the spam problem, by growing beyond it.


Don’t blame Google for the topic selection; it was my choice. I wanted to simultaneously optimize for quality of line-up, topic coverage, and diversity of companies. That led to Matt Cutts – Google – Spam/Adversarial IR as being one of the triples. And, bear in mind, it is SIGIR, where exploratory search is still a niche. I had to respect that and not abuse my authority as track organizer to turn it into an HCIR Industry Day. Believe me, I’d have loved to have gotten Dan Russell on the schedule too.


Well, I didn’t mean it has to exactly be Exploratory Search. It could have been any number of other search types. Product search would be interesting. Media search is an area I’m partial to, and something that Google has had to do a lot more of, recently, with their copyright detection in YouTube. Hearing about that would be quite interesting.

I’m just sayin’ I’ve been hearing about adversarial IR from Google for waay to many years now, and am ready for a change.

But look, take that as only an extremely minor criticism. I’m very much looking forward to the day as a whole.


The SIGIR conference broadly covers information retrieval, and does include interaction and exploratory search. But, if you look at programs from recent years, you’ll see that these areas don’t get that much attention. As I understand it, it is hard (though not impossible) to present research results in these areas that are quantitative and reproducible enough to satisfy the reviewers. And there may simply be a cultural gap between user-focused information scientists and system-focused information retrieval researchers. Yes, there are exceptions (e.g., Gary Marchionini), but generally exploratory search researchers (e.g., Marti Hearst) don’t submit their work to SIGIR.


Comments are closed.