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university of tampere: sis/luo-coms: research: trim - tampere research center for information and media: research groups: fire:
Faculties of Natural and Communication SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculties of Natural and Communication Sciences
TRIM - Tampere Research Center for Information and Media

FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2017

(Updated June 2nd, 2017 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 13.00 - 16.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Booked seminar days:

- 14.01.17 (Saturday, Doctoral defence)

- 17.3.17

- 24.3.17

- 21.4.17

- 09.6,17

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.

January 14, 2017, Pinni B 1096, note: Saturday

  • Doctoral defence of Miamaria Saastamoinen: "Information searching in authentic work tasks: A field study on the effects of task type and complexity"
  • Opponent: Prof. Katriina Byström (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway)

March 17, 2017

  • Johanna Vainio: Close and Loose Associations in Keyword Search from Structural Data.

April 21, 2017

  • (cancelled)

June 09, 2017 -- time 14.15 - 15.30

  • Jiri Uitto: Classification of data in channel

Past FIRE Seminars

FIRE Seminar Program Fall 2016

(Updated Dec 1st, 2016 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 13.15 - 16.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Booked seminar days:

-          02.09.16

-          23.09.16

-          13.10.16 [Thursday, likely event]

-          21.10.16

-          25.11.16

-          16.12.16

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications. Also check for the actual seminar taking place -- Due to Kal's research leave there might not be a seminar on the booked day.

September 02, 2016

  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: Information searching in authentic work tasks
  • Heikki Keskustalo: Serendipitous Discoveries in Historical Searching (draft project proposal)

September 23, 2016

  • Kimmo Kettunen: Named Entity Recognition in a Historical Finnish Newspaper collection 1771-1910 (background reading:

  • Heikki Keskustalo: Serendipitous Discoveries in Historical Searching (draft project proposal)

October 13, 2016, Thursday, at 11.15-13 sh. Pinni B2078

  • Dr. Robert Capra:  Interfaces to Support Exploratory and Collaborative Search Tasks


Search interfaces are used by millions of users every day and provide access to a vast array of information stored in web pages, document collections, and other data sources.  The design of these interfaces mediates access to information and can influence our search processes.  Search interfaces have evolved over time, but providing high-precision ranked lists of results is a primary focus of many systems. Current search engines are effective in helping users complete simple search tasks such as fact-finding, but provide less support in helping users with tasks that may involve exploration, analysis, comparison, evaluation, and collaboration.

In this talk I will present results from a series of projects conducted with colleagues to develop and evaluate innovative search interfaces to support exploratory and collaborative search tasks. Across these projects, we observed how interface components influenced users’ search behaviors and ways that users made use of contextual information displayed by the interfaces at different stages of their search processes.  In my recent work, these observations helped inform the design of a novel search assistance tool that displays the search trails (paths) from previous users.  The idea behind the tool is that users may benefit from seeing how someone else approached the same or similar task.  Our implementation provides an interactive display with information about how another person searched, the queries they issued, results they clicked, and annotations made by the original searcher.  I will report on a laboratory study that investigated factors that influence user interaction with the search trails and effects on outcome measures.  Finally, I will conclude by discussing several exciting areas for future research on search interfaces.

About the speaker:

Dr. Robert Capra is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His interests include human-computer interaction, interactive information retrieval, and personal information management.  His research focuses on how people search for information in different contexts and on developing tools to support users’ search needs. He publishes regularly in top computer and information science conferences and journals and in 2016 was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant.

He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Virginia Tech and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis.  At Virginia Tech, he was part of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction where he investigated multi-platform interfaces, information re-finding, and interfaces for digital libraries.  Prior to Virginia Tech, he worked in corporate research and development, spending five years in the Speech and Language Technologies group at SBC Communications (now merged with AT&T Labs) where he focused on voice user interfaces, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

Dr. Capra is an active member in the HCI and information science communities.  He has co-edited special issues of IEEE Computer, ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), and the journal Information Processing & Management.  He has served on numerous conference program committees and in 2016, was co-chair of the newly formed ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR).


October 21, 2016

  • Dr. Chirag Shah: Information Fostering: Proactively Supporting Information Seeking
  • Dr. Tuukka Ruotsalo: Interactive intent modeling


Information Fostering: Proactively Supporting Information Seeking

To assess information seeking/retrieval processes and outcomes, goodness of various objects involved in search such as queries and documents are evaluated. This evaluation could lead to recommendations (e.g., related queries, potentially useful books, interesting movies) to improve success and satisfaction of information seeker. However, in many cases, it may be too late to use those recommendations to mend the damage already done. Can we predict if a search session or project is moving on a suboptimal trajectory before it’s too late and offer suggestions to fix that trajectory - here referred to as Information Fostering? In this talk I will present some of our works that essentially provide a positive answer to this question. Specifically, I will talk about how we could analyze a search process in an exploratory search task to be able to predict its likelihood of success, and how we could switch the search trail of a possibly failing search with a one that could improve the chances of success dramatically. Extending this scenario to collaborative search, I will discuss our work that shows how we could do early detection of potential benefits of collaborating with someone for information seeking. I will also talk about the scenario when during a collaborative search, we could identify relative skills that individuals exhibit and use that knowledge to recommend roles that collaborators could assume in that search task. Finally, I will talk about some of our very recent works in which we are using data collected through mobile and wearable devices to predict one’s search behavior.

About the speaker

Chirag Shah is an Associate Professor in both the School of Communication & Information (SC&I) and the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University. His research interests include information seeking/retrieval in individual, social, and collaborative contexts. Shah received a PhD in information science from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He directs the InfoSeeking Lab ( at Rutgers where he investigates issues related to information seeking, interactive information retrieval, and social media, supported by grants from National Science Foundation (NSF), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Google, and Yahoo! More about him can be found from his homepage:


Interactive Intent modeling

User behavior analysis drive today’s internet applications; the pages we visit, the amount of time we view each page, the links we click on, and the queries we enter to search engines allow collecting data that can be used to improve web search, recommendation systems, or targeting online advertisement for users who exhibit a greater level of interest for the information that they search and consume. While user behavior has been successfully utilized for improving services, it is limited to the measurements that the current user interfaces allow us to record. In this talk, I will present some of our recent work on going beyond the behavioral measures to interactively model human intentions. I will discuss two approaches where human signals are used to predict search intentions and retrieve relevant information. First, I’ll discuss how explicit feedback from visualization is used in a reinforcement learning framework to learn user intentions in an information retrieval setting. Then, I will present how we can directly utilize human physiology and brain-activity to detect and mine informational intentions for retrieving digital information. 


About the speaker

Tuukka Ruotsalo’s research areas span human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and applied machine learning to elicit and mine user preferences and intentions to drive novel information discovery applications. Tuukka is currently an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, Aalto University, Finland. In 2016, he was a visiting scholar at Harvard SEAS, in 2010-2011 he worked as a postdoc at the University of California in Berkeley, and in 2008 he was a visiting researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Tuukka is also a co-founder of Etsimo, a start-up company that builds information discovery solutions.


November 25, 2016

  • Mikko Tuomela (U Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA):  Individual reading types and the effects of automated annotation

About the speaker: Mikko Tuomela is a PhD student at Illinois Informatics Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( )

December 16, 2016

  • Thesis defence rehearsal: Candidate Miamaria Saastamoinen, Custos Jaana Kekäläinen, Opponent Kal Jarvelin
  •  (TBA)

FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2016

(Updated May 23, 2016 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Booked seminar days:

-          29.01.16

-          26.02.16

-          01.04.16

-          29.04.16

-          26.05.16 THURSDAY

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications. Also check for the actual seminar taking place -- Due to Kal's research leave there might not be a seminar on the booked day.


January 29, 2016

  • Dr. Tanja Mercun (University of Ljubljana): Presenting bibliographic families using information visualization: the design and evaluation of FrbrVis prototype


Febuary 26, 2016

  • (cancelled)

April 01, 2016

  • Discussion on the university / SIS restructuring and FIRE's position and goals within that

April 29, 2016

  • Cancelled

May 26, 2016 Note: THURSDAY

  • Dimitra Panopoulou: "Gamification for teaching information retrieval"
  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: "Work tasks and information sources: study of interrelationships"
  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: "Searching in authentic work tasks: search task, query and source use features"



September 04, 2015 

  • Pedersen, Casper (U CPH): Text Coherence and Query Term Cache Management in IR: two studies
  • Pääkkönen, Teemu (Flocker): Exploring Behavioral Dimensions in Session Effectiveness
  • Saastamoinen, Mia (UTA): Queries in genuine work tasks: The effects of task type and complexity

Short bio / Casper Pedersen: Casper Petersen is a third-year Ph.D. student in Information Retrieval (IR) at the University of Copenhagen. He investigates the potential benefit of using statistical modelling and NLP to improve existing information retrieval tasks, such as (re-)ranking and posting list caching. His primary academic advisor is Christina Lioma, Associate Professor, Ph.D., University of Copenhagen.

Abstract / Casper Pedersen: This talk centers on two recent papers I co-authored:

1 - One property of well-written texts is coherence. Text coherence (TC) is the extent that a reader can understand the relations and ideas introduced in a text, and is central for comprehension. While a number of effective TC models exist, it is not well understood how they may be applied to existing IR tasks. In this paper, we develop two classes of TC models to assign coherence scores to documents. We show that both classes can achieve performance comparable to state-of-the-art for sentence re-ordering task (useful, for example, for automatic summarisation tasks), and significantly outperform strong baselines when re-ranking results based on a document's coherence score in ad hoc retrieval. This paper is presented at the ACM International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) 2015 in Northampton, MA, USA.

2 - A posting list cache facilitates query processing, by storing--in a finite, but fast, local amount of memory--the posting lists (inverted lists) of the most popular query terms. A key challenge is how to select the query terms to cache. A recent greedy approach to static posting list caching substantially outperform other static and dynamic caching schemes, but a greedy approach does not formally guarantee an optimal solution. In this paper, we formulate the selection of what posting lists to cache as a constrained combinatorial optimisation (CCO) problem. Using simulated query logs, we show that using CCO gives small improvements in the number of cache hits over the greedy baseline for a number of cache sizes. This paper is presented at the Asian Information Retrieval Societies Conference (AIRS) 2015 in Brisbane, QL, Australia. 

September 11, 2015, Friday at 10.00 - 10.30, place: PB2078

  • Georg Buchanan (City University London) & Dana McKay (Swinburne University of Technology): If you're lost you can look and you will find...books?

Abstract: In the past five years Dana and George, individually and collectively have done considerable research on how people look for and find academic books both on and offline.This talk will provide an overview of the literature that has fed into this work, and cover their work in the field. Their work includes studies of shelf use, search, ebook reading, bookshop behaviour and online reading, and uses methods as diverse as log analysis, observation and focus groups. This talk weaves together the threads of those studies to provide some insight into academic book seeking, then provides directions for future research.

Dana's Bio: Dana McKay first came to Finland as an exchange student 20 years ago; when she earned a reputation as "the exchange student who learned Finnish". In 2001 she gained her masters in digital library usability in New Zealand, since then she has worked in a variety of HCI-related roles including a secondment to Nokia Research Centre at Ruohlahti in 2002. For the past eight years she has been working in a user experience role in an academic library in Melbourne, Australia. Last year she began her PhD at the University of Melbourne, looking at how to transition book browsing to an online space.

George's Bio: George Buchanan is the Director of the Centre for HCI Design at City University London. He is also the Research Chair of the British Computer Society's Interactions Special Interest Group. He has been researching how people interact with information for over 15 years, and has particular interest in reading and mobile devices. George's interest in reading is not new - previously, he ran a publishing software house focussing on the publishing industry for nine years.


September 24, 2015, Thursday, 14.15 - 16.00, place: PB2077 [joint session with RIME]

  • Tenopir, Carol (U Tennessee): Scholarly Reading and Scholarly Sharing: Some Indicators of Change

Abstract: The talk will integrate findings from several ongoing studies of scholarly reading and sharing of articles and data by academics.

Short Bio: See


October 2, 2015 

  • Petersen, Casper: A discussion on thesis structure
  • Jarvelin, Kal et al: Modeling Search Result Interaction in Interactive IR Simulation - discusion on intermediate results


November 06, 2015 

  • cancelled -- demo lectures and guest lectures by candidates to Data Science tenure track position.


December 04, 2015 

  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: Search task features in work tasks of varying types and complexity
  • Discussion: setting up an Information Science Track at MindTrek 2016?
  • Discussion: Upcoming retirements -- what should happen to the positions?





FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2015

(Updated May 18, 2015 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Seminar days:

-          09.01.15

-          20.02.15

-          20.03.15

-          17.04.15

-          15.05.15

-          25-26.05.15

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.

January 09, 2015 

  • Mikkonen, A. & Vakkari, P.: "Books' interest grading and search actions during query reformulation Intervals in fiction retrieval"
  • Vakkari, P. & Pöntinen, J.: "Result list actions in searching fiction: An eye-tracking study"
  • All: planning FIRE 2015 - program, goals, events

February 20, 2015 

  • Baskaya, Feza: "The FIRE^2 Experimental environment"
  • Kal & al: "What makes an expert searcher an expert - a case in IIR simulation"
  • All: "the future of IR, the future of FIRE"

March 20, 2015 

  • Discussion on FIRE strategy upto 2020

April 17, 2015 

  • Discussion on FIRE strategy upto 2020

May 15, 2015 

  • Shuaiqiang Wang (U Jyväskylä/CS): "Listwise Collaborative Filtering"
  • Anna Mikkonen: "Reader characteristics, search behavior and search success in fiction book search"
  • (open)

Information on our guest:

WANG, Shuaiqiang, Tutkijatohtori, Tietojenkäsittelytieteiden laitos, Jyväskylän yliopisto,

Short bio: Shuaiqiang Wang received Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Computer Science from Shandong University, China, in 2009 and 2004 respectively. During 2009, he was an exchange Ph.D. student at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is now a Tutkijatohtori (internationally equivalent to Assistant Professor) at Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He was an Associate Professor at Shandong University of Finance and Economics from 2011 to 2014. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Texas State University in 2010. His research interests include recommender systems, information retrieval and data mining.

Abstract: Recently, ranking-oriented collaborative filtering (CF) algorithms have achieved great success in recommender systems. They obtained state-of-the-art performances by estimating a preference ranking of items for each user rather than estimating the absolute ratings on unrated items (as conventional rating-oriented CF algorithms do). In this paper, we propose a new ranking-oriented CF algorithm, called ListCF. Following the memory-based CF framework, ListCF directly predicts a total order of items for each user based on similar users' probability distributions over permutations of the items, and thus differs from previous ranking-oriented memory-based CF algorithms that focus on predicting the pairwise preferences between items. One important advantage of ListCF lies in its ability of reducing the computational complexity of the training and prediction procedures while achieving the same or better ranking performances as compared to previous ranking-oriented memory-based CF algorithms. Extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets against several state-of-the-art baselines demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposal.


May 25-26, 2015 

Memornet - Doctoral programme on the Society’s Memory Functions, and

FIRE - Finnish Information Retrieval Experts group organize

Summer School on Data and tools for digital humanities

Dates: May 25-26, 2015

Location: University of Tampere, Pinni building room B4113 (4th floor)

Keynote speakers: Jaap Kamps (University of Amsterdam), Ulrich Tiedau, University College London

For more information follow these pages or Memornet pages (



FIRE Seminar Program Fall 2014

(Updated December 10, 2014 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Seminar days:

-          22.08.14

-          19.09.14

-          24.10.14

-          14.11.14

-          16.12.14

-          18.12.14


August 22, 2014 

  • Pertti Vakkari: "Searching as learning: some reflections"

September 19, 2014 

  • David Maxwell (U Glasgow): "Stuck in Traffic: How Temporal Delays Affect Search Behavior"
  • Sanna Kumpulainen: "Task-based Information Access in Pharmacovigilance" Presentation of project proposal.

Maxwell's Abstract: Delays are a frustrating yet common occurrence in our lives. When using computers, we expect fast responses from systems such as search engines. However, what happens to users when search engines aren't as fast as expected? Studies have shown that even relatively small delays of 400 milliseconds incurred when returning search results can have an impact in user's search behaviours and information interactions. In this talk, I will present findings from a study which examined how query response delays and document download delays affect user interactions within a search system. Guided by existing theories in this area, we derived several hypotheses and put them to the test with 48 undergraduate subjects, split across four experimental conditions. We obtained interesting results, with a key finding being a strong and significant correlation between the time spent posing queries, and the interactions of subjects - in terms of the number of queries issued, the number of documents examined, and the depth to which the subjects went in the presented search results. These findings contrast with previous works on how delays affect search behaviours, and suggest that the underlying theories need to be refined to make more credible predictions relating to search behaviours.

October 24, 2014  --   Change of Place: PB2085

  • Samuel Ranta: Effects of migration of images: experiments with Photoshop
  • The TOIS article revision
  • Future IR Curriculum

November 14, 2014   --   Change of Time: 9:30 - 11:30

  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: presentation and discussion on thesis research questions and data

December 16, 2014  --  12:15 - 14.00 Pinni B 2078

  • Anni Järvelin's thesis defense rehearsal. Thesis title: "Applications of S-grams in Natural Language Information Retrieval"

 December 18, 2014  --  Auditorium Pinni B 1097 at 12 Noon -- please note  time and venue

  • Anni Järvelin's thesis defense. Thesis title: "Applications of S-grams in Natural Language Information Retrieval"
  • Opponent: Prof. Paul Clough (U Sheffield, UK)
  • Custos: Prof. Eero Sormunen
  • Link to thesis: <coming soon>

FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2014

(Updated April 23, 2014 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.


January 17, 2014 

  • Jaana Kekäläinen: Discussion on the theme: "An IR experiment: the subjects are there but the problem statement is missing"
  • Kal Jarvelin: Discussion on steps toward ACM TOIS Special Issue on Contextual Search and Recommendation
  • [room for presentations]


January 31, 2014 

  • Defense rehearsal: Thesis title: "Recording and use of information in a client information system in child protection work".
  • Candidate: Saila Huuskonen
  • Opponent: Pertti Vakkari
  • Custos: Jaana Kekäläinen


Febuary 14, 2014  -- FIRE Special Event -- Saila Huuskonen's Public Defense -- Auditorium PB1096

  • Thesis title: "Recording and use of information in a client information system in child protection work"
  • Candidate: Saila Huuskonen;
  • Opponent:Prof. Katriina Byström
  • Custos: Prof. Pertti Vakkari


March 14, 2014 

  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: presentation and discussion on thesis project data collection and analysis


April 11, 2014 

  • Anna Mikkonen: "Finding fiction: search moves and success in two online catalogs" presentation and discussion of the submitted paper
  • Discussion on research evaluation

April 30, 2014 @ 13:15 - 15:00, Pinni B2077

  • Associate Prof. Thea Lindquist (Boulder, CO): "Using Linked Open Data to Facilitate User Access to Online Primary Sources"
  • Eero Sormunen: "Title TBA" - Approximate matching based retrieval in an OCRed historical newspaper archive

The first talk is about humanities user needs more generally and about experimenting with facilitating user access to WWI content.

Lindquist's abstract: This talk will discuss the challenges encountered by and needs of humanities users in using digital 
historical primary sources. Further it will touch upon how a Linked Open Data (LOD) approach might help meet these user
needs by facilitating findability, accessibility, and context the sources. Historians, librarians, and computer scientists have
partnered in the World War I LOD Project to investigate how these goals might be achieved in a particular historical subdomain. 
The project will be discussed in more detail, including the datasets and vocabularies used and annotation method, illustrated
by a use case.
Lindquist's bio: Thea Lindquist is Associate Professor in the University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder (USA), 
where she has been and History and Germanic Studies Librarian since 2001. She is an historian by training. Her research interests
include the accessibility and usability of online primary sources, and particularly how a Linked Data approach might help meet
user needs in these areas. She also has interests in Digital Humanities and early modern European history.


May 9, 2014 

  • Prof. Juan Antonio Martínez Comeche (Univ Complutense de Madrid): "Users' emotional and behavioural features"
  • Pertti Vakkari & Arto Luoma & Janna Pöntinen: "Time Use in Metadata and Books? Interest Grading in Selecting Fiction"

Juan's Abstract: Several behavioural features as dwell time have been studied in order to improve the retrieval effectiveness. At the same time, affective signals as facial expression or heart rate have also been used to improve the results of interactive information retrieval systems. This talk presents a work-in-progress research that tries to analyze the relation between the emotional states plus the behavioural aspects of the user and the relevance assessment done by the user.

Juan's Bio: Juan-Antonio Martínez-Comeche is Associate Professor in the Department/Faculty of Library and Information Science at the University Complutense of Madrid. His main research interests include information behaviour and bibliometrics.

May 22, 2014 @ 13-15, Pinni B2077 

  • Associate Prof. Christina Lioma (Copenhagen Univ, DK): "User logs and contextual semantics for query analysis"
  • Prof. Birger Larsen (Aalborg Univ, DK): "Investigating the use of anchor text to enhance retrieval in physics".
  • [room for presentations]

Christina's abstract: Inferring user information needs from queries is often hindered by the short query text and lack of user context. This talk presents two separate lines of work-in-progress aiming to improve our understanding of query semantics.

Part 1 presents a query reformulation method that mines candidate query reformulations from user-clicked documents and ranks them based on a commutation test on their terms. The user logs are provided by Karnov Group (a Danish provider of legal documentation) over a 10-month span. Experiments on ca. 1000 queries, simulating user relevance assessments, show the proposed method to be effective. In situ evaluation with expert Karnov users shows mixed results.

Part 2 presents an unsupervised method for estimating the non-compositionality of query terms. Non-compositional phrases have meanings that cannot be induced from the semantics of their composing terms, e.g. ‘hot dog’ or ‘red tape’. We extend the recent vector space approach of Kiela & Clark (2013) in detecting non-compositionality from contextual semantics, by proposing a probabilistic alternative, and apply it to find strong term dependence in 200 TREC Web track queries. Identifying strongly dependent query terms (and modelling their dependence during ranking) is shown to benefit retrieval effectiveness.

Christina's Bio: Christina Lioma is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen. Her main research interests are in textual information retrieval and computational linguistics. Recent work is focused specifically on query/document representation (e.g. using graph theory or logic), linguistic evidence for ranking models (e.g. discourse, coherence), and domain-specific retrieval (e.g. rare medical diseases, scholarly data).

Birger's abstract: Anchor text, the text clicked on or immediately surrounding an outgoing hyperlink, has been used successfully to represent the document linked to in web search (e.g. Brin & Page, 1998). Ritchie and colleagues have shown the potential for exploiting anchor text in scientific and scholarly retrieval, but on fairly small and not publicly available datasets in the field of Computational Linguistics (Ritchie, Teufel and Robertson, 2009). As citation behaviour differs considerably between fields (Moed, 2005) we revisit the question of the usefulness of anchor text in a different field: physics. Using the iSearch test collection (Lykke et al., 2010) and full text versions of its documents now freely available from the electronic preprint archive, we investigate 1) if we can identify citations and anchor text reliably using iSearch and the latex arXiv source documents, 2) how to integrate this into ranking in a language modelling framework and 3) the optimal anchor text window size for this task. The presentation also presents iSearch and discusses the possibilities for building even larger scientific test collections for IR.

Birger's Bio: Birger Larsen is Professor in Information Analysis and Information Retrieval at the Department of Communication at Aalborg University Copenhagen. His main research interests include Information Retrieval (IR), structured documents in IR, XML IR and user interaction, domain specific search, understanding user intents and exploiting context in IR, as well as Informetrics/Bibliometrics, citation analysis and quantitative research evaluation.

June 5, 2014  @ 13-16, Pinni B2078

  • Prof. Juan Antonio Martínez Comeche (Univ Complutense de Madrid): "Task-based information access, barriers and emotions in University Libraries of Spain and Finland"
  • Feza Baskaya, "Simulating Search Sessions in Interactive Information Retrieval Evaluation" -- defense rehearsal; Opponent Heikki, Custos Kal.

June 12, 2014  @ 14:15-16.00, Pinni B2078

  • Prof. Jaap Kamps (Universiteit van Amsterdam): "Search as Research and Research as Search"
  • Samuel Ranta: Effects of file migration on image formats

Jaap's abstract: We have access to unprecedented amounts of information on the Web and in now digitized collections curated by museums, archives, libraries, publishers, or other institutions.  The large-scale availability of information about our past and present offers unprecedented opportunities for researchers and other users, but also presents many complexities when combining information from different collections, from different institutions, and from different traditions of documentation.  Big data collections bringing together many sources of information will be the driving force of research in the coming years.  Modern search methods are needed to exploit the availability of massive data of relevance to almost any conceivable research question, hence new search methods become new research methods and search and research evolve in parallel.

Jaap's bio:  Jaap Kamps is an associate professor of information retrieval at the University of Amsterdam's iSchool, PI of a stream of large research projects on information access funded by NWO and the EU, member of the ACM SIG-IR executive committee, organizer of evaluation efforts at TREC and CLEF, and a prolific organizer of conferences and workshops.  His research interests span all facets of information storage and retrieval -- from user-centric to system-centric, and from basic research to applied research. A common element is the combination of textual information with additional structure, such as document structure, Web-link structure, and/or contextual information, such as meta-data, anchors, tags, clicks, or profiles.   See: <>.


June 13, 2014  @ 12:00 Pinni B 3116

  • Feza Baskaya, "Simulating Search Sessions in Interactive Information Retrieval Evaluation" -- public defense; Opponent Prof. Jaap Kamps.


FIRE Seminar Program Fall 2013

(Updated August 14, 2013 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078, unless otherwise stated.

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.


August 23, 2013 

  • Dr. Susanna Nykyri (National Library, Helsinki): "Challenges in constructing the Finnish general ontology, YSO"
  • [room for presentations]


August 29, 2013 @ 11.00 - 12.30 in Pinni B2077

  • Prof. Diane Kelly (UNC, USA):" Development and Evaluation of Search Tasks with varying levels of Cognitive Complexity."

For personal information about the speaker, see


September 20, 2013 

  • Prof. Rainer Kuhlen (U Konstanz, DE): "EIS (European Information Science) – Open Access for Science by Science"
  • [room for presentations]


A brief Bio of Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen

Affiliation: University of Konstanz – Department for Computer and Information Science

Scientific and Teaching Profile: Information Retrieval; Hypertext; Information Markets; Information Ethics and Politics; Collaborative Knowledge Management for e-learning, Theories of the Commons. Professional functions: Since 1980 Professor for Information Science in the Computer and Information Science at the University of Konstanz; Chair of the Committee for Communication and Information of the German Commission for the UNESCO; UNESCO Chair for Communications ORBICOM); Chairperson of NETHICS e.V. (Ethics in the Net –; Member of the Board of the German Society for Information Science (HI); Chairperson for the German Coalition “Copyright for Education and Science”.

Current projects: IUWIS (Infrastructure Copyright for Science and Education - – DFG); MEDOANET (Open Access in six countries of the Mediterranean area - EU/FP7).

Recent books: Consequences of information agents (1999); Information ethics (2004); Successful failure - twilight of copyright?  (2008)


October 18, 2013 

  • Feza Baskaya & al.: "Modeling Behavioral Factors in Interactive Information Retrieval", CIKM presentation rehearsal
  • Paavo Arvola & al.: "Selection Fusion in Semi-Structured Retrieval", CIKM presentation rehearsal


November 22, 2013, Meeting room Pinni B 1065, 12-14

  • Sanna Kumpulainen, "Task-based Information Access in Molecular Medicine: Task Performance, Barriers, and Searching within a Heterogeneous Information Environment" -- defense rehearsal; Opponent Kal, Custos Heikki.


December 5, 2013, Auditorium Pinni B 1097, at 12 noon

  • Sanna Kumpulainen: "Task-based Information Access in Molecular Medicine: Task Performance, Barriers, and Searching within a Heterogeneous Information Environment"

  • The public defense, Opponent Prof. Ann Blandford (UCL UK; ), Custos Prof. Kal Jarvelin

December 13, 2013 

  • Brainstorming Session on "Future IR and IS" organized by a working group
  • [room for presentations]



FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2013

(Updated June 11, 2013 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078 unless otherwise stated.

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.


June 24-28, 2013 @ 12:15 to 17:00, Pinni B 2078

TISE Course: Natural language, language technology and textual information retrieval
Teacher: Ph. D. Kimmo Kettunen

 5 ECTS with course only
10 ECTS if you write an essay (essay topics available from May onward,
deadline for essays is August 16)


Course materials will be delivered through Dropbox, so please sign up for the course by sending e-mail to, so that I can share the materials with all the participants. Final materials will be available at the end of May.


  • Day 1: basics of textual information retrieval (queries, text
  • databases/indexes, retrieval models, evaluation)
  • Day2: basics of linguistics (mainly morphology, some syntax, parts-of-speech)
  • Day3: applicable language technology in monolingual IR (stemmers,
  • lemmatization, word form generation, POS-tagging, syntactic parsing
  • etc.)
  • Day4: cross-language information retrieval and its language technology
  • (dictionaries, machine translation, quality of translation etc.)
  • Day5: language technology and Web search engines

We’ll concentrate on European languages, while coverage of all thelanguage related matters is a huge task. If you want to get a proper insight to the topics covered, there will be lot of suggested background reading available for each theme.

No actual IR labs will be available, but hands-on language technology tools or demos will be used and group or individual work done during the lectures.



June 4, 2013 @ 13:00 to 16:00, Pinni B 2077

  • Barbara Wildemuth: "Attributes of Assigned Search Tasks: A Methodological Review"
  • Pia Borlund: "Meta-evaluation of simulated work task situations"
  • [room for presentations]

Barbara Wildemuth: Abstract
Interactive information retrieval (IR) experiments almost always assign search tasks for the study subjects to complete. These tasks may be of particular types (e.g., exploratory tasks or fact-finding tasks) or of varying levels of complexity or difficulty, or they may be a homogeneous set of search tasks. Over the past two years, a database of search tasks assigned in interactive IR studies has been compiled, including the full text of the tasks. A study of the exploratory tasks in the database revealed key attributes that help to clarify what we mean by this task type; a study of the known-item and fact-finding tasks in the database revealed the role they can continue to play in interactive IR studies; and a planned study of task complexity and difficulty will hopefully reveal a clearer definition of these two related by distinct concepts. Key findings from these studies will be presented.

Brief bio of Barbara Wildemuth
Barbara Wildemuth is Professor and Associate Dean in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her research focuses on people’s use of information and information technologies. In particular, her research has included longitudinal studies of medical students’ searching of online databases, an evaluation of the effectiveness of a computerized presentation of a health maintenance/risk assessment questionnaire that adapts to the patient's literacy level and computer skills, and investigations of people's interactions with a collection of digital videos and their representations in the database. Her most recent work includes a needs assessment for use of personal health records, and a methodological study of the search tasks assigned in interactive information retrieval experiments. Her recent book, Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science, has been adopted as a text in a number of ILS schools in the United States and abroad. She has also been involved in developing curricula for digital library education and a project recruiting and educating medical informationists.  Her UNC teaching responsibilities include courses in various aspects of research methods (including theory development), human information interactions, and information ethics.

Pia Borlund: Abstract

Pia Borlund is the originator of the test instrument named a "simulated work task situation". This instrument is commonly used in interactive information retrieval (IIR) and seeking studies in form of written search tasks descriptions assigned to test participants. The objective of the use of simulated work task situations is to obtain realistic and reliable search behaviour during studying. What makes the design and tailoring of the simulated work task situations essential with respect to presenting a search task description that the test participants can relate to; in which they can identify themselves; and that they find topically interesting. However, past research shows how this requirement (and others) for the use of simulated work task situations are not always followed, which motivates the current research project on "Meta-evaluations of simulated work task situations". The purpose of the research project is to refine and improve the requirements for the use of simulating work task situations, and hereby to increase the research standard of empirical IIR and seeking studies. The test instrument of a simulated work task situation is studied via a series of empirical studies, these are:

  • A replica study of the original work by Borlund (uni students from Aalborg University)
  • A study focusing on the effect of tailoring (uni students from the RSLIS)
  • A study of the order effect of simulated work task situations (uni students from the RSLIS)
  • A study of school children and school teachers' use of simulated work task situations children (under planning)
  • (An ELIS study that investigates Ingwersen's three types of information needs)

Brief bio of Pia Borlund

Pia Borlund is Professor at the Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS), Copenhagen University, and Docent at the School of Information Sciences, Tampere University. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of systems that support users' interactive information retrieval (IIR). She is interested in the confluence of information retrieval (IR), human-computer interaction, and information seeking behaviour from a task based perspective. She has conducted research on frameworks and guidelines for performance evaluation of IIR systems centred on the concept of simulated work task situation by involvement of users. Her current research focuses on methodological issues, experimental design and requirements for user-based performance evaluation. In addition, she is interested in the concept of relevance, including users' relevance assessment behaviours of different work and search tasks, as well as the nature of subjective, non-binary relevance.


May 24, 2013

  • Joint seminar with RIME & GAME on managing the dissertation process: conventions regarding theses (esp. when based on a collection of articles), examination process, etc. Chair: Pertti Vakkari


April 26, 2013

  • Sanna Kumpulainen: "Task-based Information Interaction in Molecular Medicine" - presentation and discussion of thesis summary

March 22, 2013

  • Janna Pöntinen & Pertti Vakkari: "Selecting fiction in online catalogs: A gaze-tracking study"
  • Feza Baskaya: "Simulating Human Behaviour in IR" - presentation and discussion of thesis summary
  • Saila Huuskonen: "Recording and use of client information system by social workers in child protection services" - presentation and discussion of thesis summary


February 22, 2013

  • Miamaria Saastamoinen: "Task-complexity and information resource use -- findings of a questionnaire-based study" - a paper draft for submission
  • Samuel Ranta: "Emulation as a preservation and rendering method for born digital data" - research plan

January 25, 2013

  • Feza Baskaya & al: "On session simulation" [title TBA]  - a paper draft for submission
  • Tomi Heimonen: "A Diary Study of Information Behaviors in Mobile Social Networking Sites"




FIRE Seminar Program Fall 2012

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni B2078 unless otherwise stated.

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.

August 9 -- Thursday, 14.15 - 16.00 at Pinni B0019

  • Feza Baskaya: "Time Factors Drive Interaction: Simulating Sessions in Diverse Searching Environments"
  • Mia Saastamoinen: "Task Complexity and Information Searching in Administrative Tasks Revisited (IIiX'12 presentation training)"
  • Anna Mikkonen:  "Readers’ search strategies for accessing books in public libraries (IIiX'12 presentation training)"
  • I-Chin Wu: "Supporting navigation in Wikipedia by information visualization: Extended evaluation measures"

August 31

  • cancelled!


September 28

  • Yury Logachev: "Different queries require different measures"
  • FIRE administrative meeting (at about 1 o'clock) about money, using the surplus


October 26

  • Paavo Arvola: "Title TBA" CIKM paper presentation
  • Feza Baskaya: "Effectiveness of Search Result Classification based on Relevance Feedback" journal submission


November 23

  • Sanna Kumpulainen: "Sequential search episodes during work task performance in molecular medicine" - presentation of on-going work on task-based query analysis
  • Feza Baskaya & al: "How far from Optimal are User’s Simulated Search Strategies" - presentation of on-going work on in-depth user simulation
  • Teemu Pääkkönen: "IRSIM -- IR session simulator" - presentation of on-going work on session simulation and perhaps a demo


December 14 -- cancelled

  • [no presentations]


FIRE Seminar Program Spring 2012

(Updated Mar 21, 2012 - KJ)

Session time on indicated Fridays 12.15 - 15.00 (or shorter, or longer), location: seminar room Pinni A 4086.

Proposals for talks are welcome - as well as proposals for session day modifications.


January 20 

  • Katriina Saarinen & Pertti Vakkari: "A sign of a good book. Readers' means of accessing fiction in a public library"
  • Feza Baskaya & al: "Time Factors Drive Interaction: Simulating Sessions in Diverse Searching Environments"


February 24 

  • Ari Pirkola: "A Web Browsing System for Retrieving Scholarly Pages"
  • Suvi Oksanen & Pertti Vakkari: " In search of a good novel, neither reading activity nor querying help, but examining search results" 
  •  Kal Jarvelin: Report from SWIRL II  


March 23 

  • Tomi Heimonen: "Longitudinal Study of a Clustering Mobile Web Search Interface" 
  • Yury Logachev: "Optimizing Parameters of the Expected Reciprocal Rank" Abstract: There are several popular IR metrics based on an underlying user model. Most of them are parameterized. Usually parameters of these metrics are chosen on the basis of general considerations and not validated by experiments with real users. Particularly, the parameters of the Expected Reciprocal Rank measure are the normalized parameters of the DCG metric, and the latter are chosen in an ad-hoc manner. We suggest two approaches for adjusting parameters of the ERR model by analyzing real users behaviour: one based on a controlled experiment and another relying on search log analysis. We show that our approaches generate parameters that are largely different from the commonly used parameters of the ERR model.
  • Nicola Ferro and Gianmaria Silvello (U Padova, Italy): “Evaluation Infrastructures: Experimentation, Visualization and... Simulation?” – Presented by Nicola. Abstract: The talk will discuss what the role of an evaluation infrastructure can be for supporting large-scale evaluation campaigns, what are the challenges it has to face, what can be its impact on experimental evaluation. It will then discuss ongoing and future perspectives such as the exploitation of visual analytics for understanding experimental results and how to support simulation as a bridge between laboratory style evaluation and user-centered evaluation.


April 20 

  • Dr Veslava Osinska (Nicolaus Copernicus U, Poland)): "Classification Map as an Information Retrieval Interface".       Abstract: We have mapped the document collection of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) digital library to a sphere surface. To overcome the incorrectness of linear measures in indexes distances we calculated similarity matrix of themes and multidimensional scaling coordinates. The results show that space distances between class nodes accurately correspond with the thematic proximities. Documents mapped into a sphere surface were distributed around the classification nodes in proper locations. The proposed method of classification scheme visualization is suitable to reach nonlinearity in topic mapping of scholar resources. This property allows to accumulate much more classification nodes. The symmetry of a sphere favours a new subclasses and sublevels of classification trees uniform visualization. This method may be useful for the visual analysis of Computer Science and Engineering development being grown instantly. Visualization tools more recently exploited to retrieve information. Output visualization maps were tested as information retrieval (IR) interface. Input parameters controlled by IR results were tested and this way the most effective were selected. Possible feedback between visualization/retrieval system and user search need is the main advantage of the application.
  • ??


May 18 

  • SWIRL'12 - Frontiers, Challenges, and Opportunities for Information Retrieval. Discussion, for materials, see .


Swinburne University of


Dr. Tanja Mercun (University of Ljubljana): Presenting bibliographic families using information visualization: the design and evaluation of FrbrVis prototype

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