Understanding Aggregated Search

Photograph of Mounia Lalmas

Mounia Lalmas

(University of Glasgow)

The diversity and complexity of contents available on the web have dramatically increased in recent years. Multimedia content such as images, videos, maps, voice recordings has been published more often than before. Document genres have also been diversified, for instance, news, blogs, FAQs, wiki. These diversified information sources are often dealt with in a separated way in search results. In general, users have to switch search “domains” to access different sources. Recently, there has been a growing interest in finding effective ways to aggregate these information sources in a unified fashion. So-called aggregated search investigated by the like of Yahoo! (Alpha Yahoo!) and Google (Universal Search) are providing search results from several sources in a single result page. Such growth in the diversity of information on the web suggests investigating three important research questions. Firstly, do users actually access various types of documents to satisfy their information need? Secondly, if this is the case, are there particular patterns in how users access these various types of documents? Finally, how does the presentation of information sources influence the information seeking behavior of users? In this talk, I will report various results regarding these three research questions.

This work is being carried out in collaboration with Shanu Sushmita, Hideo Joho, and Benjamin Piwowarski from the University of Glasgow.

Professor Mounia Lalmas holds a Microsoft Research/RAEng Research Chair at the Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow. Before that, she was Professor of Information Retrieval, at the department of Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London, which she joined in 1999 as a lecturer. She is a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS). She was also the (elected) vice chair, and before this the Information Director of ACM SIGIR. She is an editorial board member for ACM TOIS, IR (Springer) and IP&M (Elsevier). Her research focuses on the development and evaluation of intelligent access to interactive heterogeneous and complex information repositories, and covering a wide range of domains such as HTML, XML, and MPEG-7. From 2002 until 2007, she co-led with Norbert Fuhr the Evaluation Initiative for XML Retrieval (INEX), a large-scale project with over 80 participating organizations worldwide, which was responsible for defining the nature of XML retrieval, and how it should be evaluated. She is now working on technologies for aggregated search and bridging the digital divide. She is also currently getting back into theoretical information retrieval where she is looking at the use of quantum theory to model interactive information retrieval. She is/was the workshop co-chair at SIGIR 2004 and 2006, mentoring chair at SIGIR 2009, PR (co-) chair at CIKM 2008 and WI/IAT 2009, workshop chair at CIKM 2010, PC chair at ECIR 2006 (European Conference on Information Retrieval Research), vice co-chair for the XML and Web Data track at WWW 2009, and general co-chair of IIiX 2008 (Information Interaction in Context) and ECDL 2010 (European Conference on Digital Libraries).
Tuesday 4th May 2010, 14:00
Robert Recorde Room
Department of Computer Science