SIGIR '97 workshops

These workshops will be held the day after the SIGIR '97 conference. They will run from 9am until roughly 3pm (times will vary).

Beyond Word Relations
Networked Information Retrieval
Summarization and Visualization
Cross-lingual IR

A fifth workshop will be offered in cooperation with the Digital Libraries conference and immediately before SIGIR '97.

Education and Curriculum Development

Beyond Word Relations

Organizer: Beth Hetzler, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Many information retrieval systems identify documents or provide a document visualization based on analysis of a particular relationship among documents - that of similar content. But there may be layers of other less apparent and less traditional relationships that would potentially be useful to the user. Building a theoretical framework for this "other" information is the subject of this workshop. The focus will be on identifying new non-traditional relationships which may be valuable to analysis, and on integrating among the traditional and non-traditional.

The goal of the workshop is to significantly enhance our understanding of the linkages and associations among documents by:

  • Identifying possible semantic relationships among documents. For example, some readily apparent relationships include documents with the same subject or theme, that share a property, that reference or quote one another, that share the same purpose, or that embody a cause-and-effect relationship.
  • categorizing those relationships
  • identifying attributes of the relationships
  • identifying areas for follow-on research, such as visualization possibilities

    The workshop will be structured in two pieces. The morning will include short presentations by several of the invited attendees to review relevant work and to provoke thought and discussion. The afternoon will include a break-out session with a few small groups each focused on a particular topic. Specific topics will be influenced by the submitted white papers and the attendees. Candidates include:

    After the break-out sessions, each group will present a summary of results to the workshop as a whole. Follow on discussion will be used to refine the results and to address categorization and identification of suggested research.

    A summary of the results will be provided for publication in SIGIR Forum.

    Participants should send a short (2 page) white paper or an extended abstract discussing your ideas for this forum to Beth Hetzler at by June 1, 1997.

    Networked Information Retrieval

    Jamie Callan, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Chris Buckley, Cornell University and SABIR Research
    Norbert Fuhr, Universitaet Dortmund

    The recent and rapid growth of the Internet and corporate intranets poses new problems for Information Retrieval. There is now a need for tools that help people navigate the network, select which collections to search, and fuse the results returned from searching multiple collections. These problems are being addressed by the international IR research community and a number of digital libraries project around the world, such as the U.S. Digital Libraries projects, the ERCIM Digital Libraries projects and the German MEDOC project.

    The goal of this workshop is to bring together people from each of these areas to discuss their varying approaches to common problems. Researchers are invited to submit position papers or extended abstracts discussing novel approaches to the following problems:

    The workshop will consist of a series of presentations, followed by a discussion session. The presentations will be based on submitted papers or extended abstracts.

    For more information, see the workshop program. The electronic proceedings from last year's workshop, organized by the same committee, also is available on the web.

    Please submit a short paper or an extended abstract to Jamie Callan by June 1, 1997. Send it via e-mail to or send three copies to:

    Jamie Callan
    Computer Science Department
    University of Massachusetts
    740 North Pleasant Street
    Lederle Graduate Research Center, Room A243
    Amherst, MA 01003-4610 USA
    +1 413-545-4878
    +1 413-545-1249 (fax)

    Summarization and Visualization for IR

    Reducing the Information Overload

    James Allan, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Amit Singhal, AT&T Research

    How can IR techniques be used to reduce the clichéd "information overload" problem? Researchers have been using IR's statistical methods to provide "best sentence" summaries of documents for decades, but other types of summaries are needed to assimilate the piles of information available on world-wide networks. For example:

    Another important area--dear to the heart of most of the IR community--is evaluation of summarization and visualization techniques. Is there a way to know when we have been successful?

    Those issues and any others that are related will be the topics of this workshop. It will be organized into a series of 3 or 4 sessions covering topics of interest to the participants. Each session will include a few short presentations followed by discussion. The structure will be loose enough to allow more or less discussion as needed. For more information, see the workshop program.

    Those planning to attend should send a 1- or 2-page position paper or an extended abstract via e-mail to James Allan at by June 1, 1997. Indicate with your submission whether you are interested in presenting. Some of the submissions will be selected for presentation. All other papers will be used to judge the interest of the participants to decide on the best organization of sessions.

    Crosslingual Information Retrieval

    Jaime Carbonell, Carnegie Mellon University
    Yiming Yang, Carnegie Mellon University

    Crosslingual Information Retrieval (aka "translingual" or "multilingual" IR) is a rapidly growing area of IR, driven in part by the ease of information access across national and linguistic boundaries afforded by the internet and the web. The 1996 crosslingual (CIR) SIGIR workshop helped establish this new field, and there has been considerable progress since then in the context of TREC and in a number of new CIR techniques and comparative evaluations.

    This workshop offers a forum for discussion of developments and emerging issues in CIR. In particular, we expect to address:

    The final format of the workshop will be determined by consensus of the participants, but we envision starting with reports on recent progress (TREC, new results, etc.), moving to discussion of the issues above, and wrapping up with a synthesis on the state of the art in CIR. We would also like to have one or more systems available for experimentation/demonstration, logistics permitting.

    If interested in participating, please send a 1-2 page position paper, mentioning work and interest(s) in this area. If you also wish to present new results, or brief highlights of earlier CIR activities (e.g. TREC, the AAAI workshop, etc.) please indicate this clearly and we will try to accommodate. Also, please indicate if you have experience in and consequently desire to lead the discussion of one of the issues above. If you wish to demonstrate a system please let us know. (Internet access will, unfortunately, not be available.) Submissions in ascii to with the word "crosslingual" in the subject field by June 1, 1997.

    Education and Curriculum Development

    Edward Fox, Virginia Tech

    Education and Curriculum Development for Multimedia, Hypertext, and Information Access: Focus on DL and IR

    This workshop is part of a series of meetings that began in 1995 to develop guidelines for curricula and courses in the broad area of "information"; see about Multimedia, Hypertext and Information Access. Attendees will help draft guidelines (similar to those by SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI) for curricula, courses and training programs in this area. Educators will present syllabi and describe courseware for courses or training programs about digital libraries or information retrieval. Employers will describe knowledge and skills they seek when recruiting in these areas. Researchers will explain testbeds that can be used by learners. Workshop results will be disseminated over WWW and later through ACM publications, and also will be made available through online courseware for undergraduate and graduate students.

    How to Apply: By June 1 send a 1 page proposal to with subject line including the phrase "DL/IR Education". State your experience and interest in the theme of the workshop. Attendees will be selected primarily on the strength of their proposal and secondarily on a first-come-first-served basis. Those submitting the strongest proposals will be asked to give short presentations in the morning session.