Supporting Complex Search Tasks – ECIR

Workshop Overview

There is broad consensus in the field of IR that search is complex in many use cases and applications, both on the Web and in domain specific collections, and both professionally and in our daily life. Yet our understanding of complex search tasks, in comparison to simple look up tasks, is fragmented at best.

The workshop will address the many open research questions:

Context: What are the obvious use cases and applications of complex search?
Tasks: What are essential features of work tasks and search tasks to take into account? And how do these evolve over time?
Heterogeneous sources: With a multitude of information, varying from introductory to specialized, and from authoritative to speculative or opinionated, when to show what sources of information?
Search process: How does the information seeking process evolve and what are relevant differences between different stages?
UI/UX: With complex task and search process management, blending searching, browsing, and recommendations, and supporting exploratory search to sensemaking and analytics, UI and UX design pose an over-constrained challenge.
Evaluation: How do we know that our approach is any good?
Supporting complex search task requires new collaborations across the whole field of IR, and the proposed workshop will bring together a diverse group of researchers to work together on one of the greatest challenges of our field.

One of the current challenges in information access is supporting complex search tasks. A user’s understanding of the information need and the overall task develop as they interact with the system. Supporting the various stages of the task involves many aspects of the system, e.g. interface features, presentation of information, retrieving and ranking.

Many search systems treat the search process as a series of identical steps of submitting a query and consulting documents. Yet information seeking research has shown that users go through different phases in their search sessions, from exploring and identifying vague information needs, to focusing and refining their needs and search strategies, to finalising their search. To be able to support exploring and discovering strategies we need to understand the characteristics of different tasks including open-ended, leisure-focused sessions.

This is a highly complex problem that touches upon and bridges areas of information seeking, interactive information retrieval, system-centered (ranking, evaluation), user interface design… more informations

DAI-Laboratory presented: 
We presented our paper titled “Applied Distributed Information Retrieval in Enterprise Search” at the SCST Workshop  in Vienna, Austria. The workshop was held as part of ECIR 2015 and dedicated to bring together a diverse group of researchers to discuss and exchange ideas about supporting complex search task. In this workshop, there was one keynote by Diane Kelly from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She presented a theory of search task difficulties based on empirical studies that evaluated a set of search tasks that were constructed using a cognitive complexity framework from educational theory. Papers from this workshop can be found CEUR-WS… read more