Time+Place: Tuesday 24/04/2012 14:30 Room 337-8 Taub Bld.
Title: Extracting Meaning from Search Behavior Data
Speaker: Eugene Agichtein http://www.mathcs.emory.edu/~eugene/
Affiliation: Mathematics and Computer Science Dept., Emory Univeristy
Host: Shaul Markovitch


A key challenge in Web search is inferring the intent behind a search 
query. But, the actual query words provide only a narrow glimpse into 
the searcher intent. This talk will show how search could be made 
substantially more effective by mining searchers interactions and 
behavior data. For example, knowing which results or document regions 
attract the searchers attention, can help automatically expand the query 
to be more effective, or to indicate how well a result answers the 
query. Previously, this kind of analysis was only possible in the 
laboratory setting, severely limiting the scale and the impact of the 
possible studies. To address this problem, we developed a variety of 
techniques to acquire, analyze, and mine rich search behavior data. For 
example, capturing and analyzing the patterns of cursor movement and 
scrolling makes it possible to infer the searchers attention and 
interests, enabling improvements to ranking, personalization, and 
precise analysis of result quality and search effectiveness, at scale. 
If time permits, I will also describe our current work on applications 
of these techniques to cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Eugene Agichtein is an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics & Computer 
Science department at Emory University, where he founded and leads the 
Emory Intelligent Information Access Laboratory (IR Lab). The active 
projects in IR Lab include mining searcher behavior and interactions 
data for improving web search, modeling social content creation and 
sharing, large-scale text mining and information extraction, and 
applications to medical informatics. Eugene obtained a Ph.D. in Computer 
Science from Columbia University, and did a Postdoc at Microsoft 
Research. He has published extensively on web search, information 
retrieval, and web and data mining, and has been honored with the Sloan 
Research Fellowship, DARPA CSSG Fellowship, and Best Paper awards at the 
SIGMOD 2006 and SIGIR 2011 conferences. Eugene's webpage is available 
at: http://www.mathcs.emory.edu/~eugene/

Refreshments served from 14:15 on,
 	Lecture starts at 14:30