Earlier today I presented the work by Leif Azzopardi and myself at the CLEF 2011 conference, entitled Towards a Living Lab for Information Retrieval Research and Development. A proposal for a living lab for product search tasks. The abstract follows:
The notion of having a “living lab” to undertaken evaluations has been proposed by a number of proponents within the field of Information Retrieval (IR). However, what such a living lab might look like and how it might be setup has not been discussed in detail. Living labs have a number of appealing points such as realistic evaluation contexts where tasks are directly linked to user experience and the closer integration of research/academia and development/industry facilitating more efficient knowledge transfer. However, operationalizing a living lab opens up a number of concerns regarding security, privacy, etc. as well as challenges regarding the design, development and maintenance of the infrastructure required to support such evaluations. Here, we aim to further the discussion on living labs for IR evaluation and propose one possible architecture to create such an evaluation environment. To focus discussion, we put forward a proposal for a living lab on product search tasks within the context of an online shop.
We are keen to get feedback from the community to see if we should continue to develop this initiative further. If you’re at CLEF this week, come talk to me.