Proceedings SIGIR'96-Workshop Networked IR

"Prof. Norbert Fuhr" <> Tue, 15 October 1996 15:43 UTC

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From: "Prof. Norbert Fuhr" <>
Subject: Proceedings SIGIR'96-Workshop Networked IR
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Following the SIGIR'96 Conference in Zurich, a Workshop on Networked
Information Retrieval took place on August 22, 1996. The electronic
proceedings of this workshop are now available at 

Below, I have included the summary by Jamie Callan.

Norbert Fuhr
            SIGIR-96 Workshop on Networked Information Retrieval

                              August 22, 1996


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, a
number of digital library projects around the world, e.g., the U.S. Digital
Libraries projects, the ERCIM Digital Libraries projects, and the German
MEDOC project. The goal of this workshop was to bring together people from
each of these areas to discuss their varying approaches to common problems.
Researchers were invited to submit position papers or extended abstracts
discussing novel approaches to the following problems:

   * Resource selection: selecting from among a set of collections or
   * Data fusion: merging or fusing results from different collections or
   * Archival retrieval methods for heterogeneous objects;
   * Metaknowledge;
   * Consistency;
   * Multilingual environments;
   * User interfaces; and
   * Architectures for networked information retrieval.

Twelve papers/abstracts were submitted in response to the call for
participation. The program committee selected eight of them for talks in the
workshop. Fifty one people registered to attend the workshop.


Paul Francis, of NTT Japan, gave a talk entitled "A Global, Self-Configuring
Information Discovery Infrastructure" . His talk described the Ingrid
project, in which a document publisher "announces" the availability of a
document to web servers that it knows contain similar documents. A server
receiving the announcement may choose to create links from similar documents
of its own to the new document. Over time, documents on a given subject
become linked to other documents on that subject, making it easier for
people to browse the Web.

Marc Rittberger, of University of Konstanz, Germany, gave a talk entitled
"Information Retrieval in a Regional, Distributed Information Area" . The
talk described the Electronic Mall Bodensee, which is a set of Web pages
describing shopping, tourist attractions and other commercial activities in
the Lake Konstanz area of Europe. The Electronic Mall provides searching
capabilities, but the organization and display of results is based on an
on-the-fly analysis of hypertext links in retrieved pages. The intent is to
better orient the user within this electronic shopping space.

Charles Nicolas, of the University of Maryland, USA, gave a talk about
"Resource Selection in CAFE: An Architecture for Networked Information
Retrieval" . CAFE is a large-scale information retrieval and filtering
system, intended to handle more than a terabyte of data per day, in multiple
languages. It is based on a set of processes that perform filtering and/or
retrieval, and a broker process that directs arriving queries and/or
documents to the appropriate agent. The architecture has been demonstrated
on a small-scale. It is now being scaled to large volumes of data.

Daan Velthausz, of the Telematics Research Centre, Netherlands, gave a talk
on "Multimedia Information Disclosure in a Distributed Environment" . The
talk described the ADMIRE project, which is intended to provide resource
selection in a multimedia environment. ADMIRE will handle both content-based
and attribute-based retrieval. The architecture enables a hierarchical
organization of attributes and content, which raises a number of difficult
questions about how to combine evidence for retrieval.

Norbert Fuhr, of the University of Dortmund, Germany, gave a talk about
"Optimum Database Selection in Networked IR" . The talk described a
decision-theoretic model of networked information retrieval that is based on
a probabilistic model. The model uses a location broker to direct queries to
the appropriate text database and to merge (fuse) the results returned from
different databases. It can be shown that the model minimizes search costs.
However, the model requires information that is rarely available in
practice. The research challenge is to develop an approximation that behaves
similarly with less information.

Kai Grossjohann, of the University of Dortmund, Germany, gave a talk
entitled "MeDoc Information Broker - Harnessing the Information in
Literature and Full Text Databases". The MeDoc Information Broker must
identify which text databases to search for a given query, transform and
normalize schemata, and merge results returned from each database. The
architecture includes multiple layers, for agents, clients, brokers, and
providers. A first prototype of the system supporting WAIS and Z39.50
protocols will be available the Fall of 1996.

J. Sairamesh, of ICS-Forth, Greece, gave a galk about "Architectures for QoS
Based Retrieval in Digital Libraries". The talk described Samos, a networked
European Computer Science technical report library. The project focus is on
the architectural, resource allocation, and quality of service requirements
in a large, scalable, decentralized Digital Library.

Martin Doerr, of ICS-Forth, Greece, gave a talk entitled "Authority Services
in Global Information Spaces - A Requirements Analysis and Feasability
Study". This talk argued that as the information available becomes more
heterogeneous, there is an increasing need for standard languages and access
mechanisms. Thesauri can serve that purpose initially, but the goal is to
evolve towards knowledge-bases that provide a relatively controlled, but
always growing, vocabulary for indexing and retrieval.


The presentations were followed by a general discussion of the major
problems concerning networked information retrieval. 

Future Workshops

Finally, the participants were polled on when it would be appropriate to
have another workshop on networked information retrieval. There was strong
agreement that another workshop should be held in conjunction with SIGIR-97,
in Philadelphia, PA, in the USA.

Prof. Dr. Norbert Fuhr   UU NN II  DD/OO/// voice: (+49) 231/755-2045,
                         UU NN II /DD/OO//                      -2779
Lehrstuhl Informatik VI ________ //////// fax: (+49) 231/755-2405  
 Universitaet Dortmund  \_\X\_\_\///////    
  D-44221 Dortmund       \_\_\_\_\///// mail:
       Germany            \_\_\_\_\///