HCIR ’08

It’s my pleasure to announce…

HCIR ’08: Second Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval
October 23, 2008
Redmond, Washington, USA

About this Workshop
As our lives become ever more digital, we face the difficult task of navigating the complex information spaces we create. The fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Retrieval (IR) have both developed innovative techniques to address this challenge, but their insights have to date often failed to cross disciplinary borders.

In this one-day workshop we will explore the advances each domain can bring to the other. Following the success of the HCIR 2007 workshop, co-hosted by MIT and Endeca, we are once again bringing together academics, industrial researchers, and practitioners for a discussion of this important topic.

This year the workshop is focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of search interfaces. We are particularly interested in interfaces that support complex and exploratory search tasks.

Keynote speaker: Susan Dumais, Microsoft Research

Researchers and practitioners are invited to present interfaces (including mockups, prototypes, and other early-stage designs), research results from user studies of interfaces, and system demonstrations related to the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Information Retrieval (IR). The intent of the workshop is not archival publication, but rather to provide a forum to build community and to stimulate discussion, new insight, and experimentation on search interface design. Demonstrations of systems and prototypes are particularly welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel interaction techniques for information retrieval.
  • Modeling and evaluation of interactive information retrieval.
  • Exploratory search and information discovery.
  • Information visualization and visual analytics.
  • Applications of HCI techniques to information retrieval needs in specific domains.
  • Ethnography and user studies relevant to information retrieval and access.
  • Scale and efficiency considerations for interactive information retrieval systems.
  • Relevance feedback and active learning approaches for information retrieval.

Important Dates

  • Aug 22 – Papers/abstracts due
  • Sep 12 – Decisions to authors
  • Oct 3 – Final copy due for printing
  • Oct 23 – Workshop date

Contributions will be peer-reviewed by two members of the program committee. For information on paper submission, see or contact

Workshop Organization

Workshop chairs:

Program chair:

Program Committee:



Your Input Really is Relevant!

For those who haven’t been following the progress on the Wikipedia entry for “Relevance (Information Retrieval)“, I’d like to thank Jon Elsas, Bob Carpenter, and Fernando Diaz for helping turn lead into gold.

Check out:

I’m proud of The Noisy Channel community for fixing one of the top two hits on Google for “relevance”.


The Magic Shelf

I generally shy away from pimping Endeca‘s customers here at The Noisy Channel, but occasionally I have to make an exception. As some of you may remember, Borders made a deal several years ago to have Amazon operate their web site. Last year, they decided to reclaim their site. And today they are live, powered by Endeca! For more details, visit

Now back to our commercial-free programming…


Your Input is Relevant!

The following is a public service announcement.

As some of you may know, I am the primary author of the Human Computer Information Retrieval entry on Wikipedia. I created this entry last November, shortly after the HCIR ’07 workshop. One of the ideas we’ve tossed around for HCIR ’08 is to collaboratively edit the page. But why wait? With apologies to Isaac Asimov, I/you/we are Wikipedia, so let’s improve the entry now!

And, while you’ve got Wikipedia on the brain, please take a look at the Relevance (Information Retrieval) entry. After an unsuccessful attempt to have this entry folded into the main Information Retrieval entry, I’ve tried to rewrite it to conform to what I perceive as Wikipedia’s standards of quality and non-partisanship. While I tried my best, I’m sure there’s still room for improving it, and I suspect that some of you reading this are among the best qualified folks to do so!

As Lawrence Lessig says, it’s a read-write society. So readers, please help out a bit with the writing.


Back from Orlando

I’m back from Endeca Discover ’08: two and a half days of presentations, superheroic attractions, and, in the best tradition of The Noisy Channel, karaoke. A bunch of us tried our best to blog the presentations at

All in all, a fun exhausting time, but it’s good to be back home. So, for those who have noticed the lack of posts in your RSS feeds, I promise I’ll start making it up to you in the next few days.


Attending Endeca Discover ’08

I’ll be attending Endeca Discover ’08, Endeca’s annual user conference, from Sunday, May 18th to Wednesday, May 21st, so you might see a bit of a lull in my verbiage here while I live blog at and hang out in sunny Orlando with Endeca customers and partners.

If you’re attending Discover, please give me a shout and come to my sessions:

Otherwise, I’ll do my best to sneak in a post or comment, and I’ll be back in full force later next week.


Workshop on Ranked XML Querying

Thanks to an excellent blog written by Panos Ipeirotis at the NYU Stern School, I learned about a workshop held last month in Dagstuhl on ranked XML querying. Most of the presentations are available online, including one entitled DB & IR from a DB Viewpoint by Gerhard Weikum at the Max Planck Institut für Informatik. I’m excited to see these efforts to unify the DB and IR perspectives. So much more productive than the infamous MapReduce debate!