Call for Papers
1st Joint Intl. Workshop on Entity-oriented and Semantic Search (JIWES)

The workshop encompasses various tasks and approaches that go beyond the traditional bag-of-words paradigm and incorporate an explicit representation of the semantics behind information needs and relevant content. This kind of semantic search, based on concepts, entities and relations between them, has attracted attention both from industry and from the research community. The workshop aims to bring people from different communities (IR, SW, DB, NLP, HCI, etc.) and backgrounds (both academics and industry practitioners) together, to identify and discuss emerging trends, tasks and challenges. This joint workshop is a sequel of the Entity-oriented and Semantic Search Workshop series held at different conferences in previous years.

The workshop aims to gather all works that discuss entities along three dimensions: tasks, data and interaction. Tasks include entity search (search for entities or documents representing entities), relation search (search entities related to an entity), as well as more complex tasks (involving multiple entities—spatiotemporal relations inclusive—, involving multiple queries). In the data dimension, we consider (web/enterprise) documents (possibly annotated with entities/relations), LOD, as well as user generated content. The interaction dimension gives room for research into user interaction with entities, also considering how to display results, as well as whether to aggregate over multiple entities to construct entity profiles.

The workshop especially encourages submissions on the interface of IR and other disciplines, such as the Semantic Web, Databases, Computational Linguistics, Data Mining, Machine Learning, or Human Computer Interaction. Examples of topic of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Data acquisition and processing (crawling, storage, and indexing)
  • Dealing with noisy, vague and incomplete data
  • Integration of data from multiple sources
  • Identification, resolution, and representation of entities (in documents and in queries)
  • Retrieval and ranking
  • Semantic query modeling (detecting, modeling, and understanding search intents)
  • Novel entity-oriented information access tasks
  • Interaction paradigms (natural language, keyword-based, and hybrid interfaces) and result representation
  • Test collections and evaluation methodology
  • Case studies and applications

We particularly encourage formal evaluation of approaches using previously established evaluation benchmarks.

We invite submissions of regular research papers (max. 6 pages), position papers (max. 3 pages), and demo descriptions (max. 3 pages). All submissions will be reviewed by at least two program committee members, and will be assessed based on their novelty, technical quality, potential impact, and clarity of writing. Selection uses a standard double blind procedure. All accepted papers will be published as part of the SIGIR workshop proceedings and will be indexed in the ACM Digital Library.

Please, submit in PDF format to:
Using the ACM SIG Proceedings style (for LaTeX, use the “Option 2″ style):

The best contribution (paper/presentation) will receive an award sponsored by Yandex.

The workshop will comprise of invited talks, oral presentations, and open-forum discussions.


  • Submissions due: July 2, 2012 extended to July 9, 2012
  • Notification of acceptance: July 23, 2012
  • Camera-ready submission: Aug 1, 2012
  • Workshop date: Aug 16, 2012


  • Krisztian Balog (NTNU, Norway)
  • David Carmel (IBM Research Haifa)
  • Arjen P. de Vries (CWI/TU Delft, The Netherlands)
  • Daniel M. Herzig (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
  • Peter Mika (Yahoo! Research, Barcelona)
  • Haggai Roitman (IBM Research Haifa)
  • Ralf Schenkel (Saarland University/MPII)
  • Pavel Serdyukov (Yandex, Russia)
  • Thanh Tran Duc (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)

To be announced.


Entity-oriented evaluation efforts in 2012

I’ve got a couple of mails asking about TREC Entity 2012. For those that don’t know it yet: the track won’t run in 2012.

In a nutshell, the level of participation in 2011 was much lower than we would have wished, especially for the REF task; as a consequence, the resulting pools are probably not of great quality. The ELC task was more successful in terms of the number of submissions, but I don’t know about the quality; the relevance assessments are yet to be done there (this has unfortunately been long delayed, mostly because of my lack of time for finishing up the assessment interface). Apart from the ELC results, last year’s efforts has been documented in the 2011 track overview paper.

Why not continue in 2012? We did not see a point in repeating the related entity finding task; over the three years of the track we managed to build a healthy-sized topic set for those that want to work on this. And, we simply didn’t have a great idea for a “next big thing.” The track is not necessarily over, I’d prefer to say it’s on hold.

There is, however, a number of entity-related evaluation campaigns running in 2012. I compiled a list of these (and will try to keep it updated).

  • TREC Knowledge Base Acceleration (KBA) This is a new TREC track. The first edition will feature a special filtering task: given an incoming text stream (news and social media content) and a target entity from a knowledge base (for now: people, specified by their Freebase and Wikipedia entries), generate a score for each item (“document”) based on how “pertinent” it is to the target KB node. The first month of the incoming stream will come with human-generated labels and can be used as training data; the latter months are for evaluation.
  • INEX Data Centric Track (Not sure it’ll run in 2012, as the call is not out yet.) Last year’s track used the IMDB data collection and defined two task. The ad hoc search task has informational requests to be answered by a ranked list of IMDB entities (specifically, persons or movies). The faceted search task asks for a restricted list of facets and facet-values to help the user refine the query through a multi-step search session.
  • TAC Knowledge Base Population (KBP) The track investigates tasks related to extracting information about entities with reference to an external knowledge source (Wikipedia infoboxes). KBP 2011 had three tasks: entity-linking: given an entity name (person, organization, or geopolitical entity) and a document containing that name, determine the KB node for that entity or add a new node for the entity if it is not already in the KB; slot-filling: given a named entity and a pre-defined set of attributes (“slots”) for the entity type, augment a KB node for that entity by extracting all new learnable slot values from a large corpus of documents; temporal slot-filling: similar to the regular slot-filling task, but also requests time intervals to be specified for each extracted slot value.
  • CLEF RepLab This new CLEF Lab is set out to study the problem of online reputation management (ORM); in a sense this effort continues and takes the WePS3 ORM task to the next level by defining a longer-term research agenda and by setting up various tasks within the problem domain. The website is not up yet, but according to the CLEF Labs flyer two tasks will be evaluated on Twitter data: a monitoring task, where the goal is to thematically cluster tweets including a company’s name (this seems the exact same as the WePS3 ORM task); a profiling task, where the goal is to annotate tweets according to their polarity (i.e., whether they have positive or negative implications for the company’s reputation).

Feel free to send me a message about anything that might be added here.

EOS workshop summary

The First International Workshop on Entity-Oriented Search (EOS) was held on July 28, 2011 in Beijing, China, in conjunction with SIGIR 2011. The objective for the workshop was to bring together academic researchers and industry practitioners working on entity-oriented search to discuss tasks and challenges, and to uncover the next frontiers for academic research on the topic. The workshop program accommodated two invited talks, eleven refereed papers divided into three technical paper sessions, and a group discussion.

You can find the workshop proceedings here. A summary report, to appear in the December issue of SIGIR Forum, is already available online.

Entity-Oriented Search Workshop at SIGIR 2011

The objective of the workshop is to provide a forum to discuss entity-oriented search, without restricting to any particular data collection, entity type, or user task, and to solicit research contributions on topics including entity mining, entity ranking, query log analysis, or user context. In sum, the workshop seeks to uncover the next research frontiers in entity-oriented search.

The workshop especially encourages submissions on the interface of IR and other disciplines, such as Databases, Semantic Web, Computational Linguistics, Data Mining, Machine Learning, or Human Computer Interaction. Examples of topic of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Identification, resolution, and representation of entities (in documents and in queries)
  • Detecting, modeling, and understanding entity-oriented search intents
  • Novel search tasks concerning entities (e.g., search by example, attribute extraction, local/geographical search, etc.)
  • Entities in various media: Web, user generated content (social media sites, weblogs, microblogs, wikis, etc.), Linked Open Data
  • Integration of data from multiple sources
  • Personalizing entity-oriented search (e.g., using location or personal social network)
  • Test collections and evaluation methodology
  • Interfaces for entity-oriented search systems (including result representation)
  • Case studies and applications

We invite submissions of regular research papers, position papers, and demo descriptions, with a maximum 6 pages (using the ACM SIG Proceedings style). Our recommendation is to not use more than 2-3 pages for demo descriptions, 3-4 pages for position papers, and 5-6 pages for research papers, but there are no particular restrictions on that.
All accepted papers will be published as part of the SIGIR workshop proceedings (with ISBN number), and will be available online from the workshop website. The organizers will discuss the opportunity of editing a special issue with the IR journal or IP&M, and authors of the best quality submissions will be invited to submit extended versions of their papers (subject to the overall standard of submissions).
The best paper/presentation will receive an award sponsored by Yandex.


  • Submissions due: June 10, 2011
  • Notification of acceptance: June 25, 2011

Go to the workshop’s homepage