NSF Task-Based Information Search Systems Workshop

March 20, 2013

Thirty experts in interactive information retrieval, from seven countries, gathered on the UNC at Chapel Hill campus for a special workshop to discuss the research and challenges taking place with task-based search engines. On March 14 and 15, 2013, the UNC's School of Information and Library Science was host to these international professionals in information search systems at the workshop event titled, "NSF Task-Based Information Search Systems Workshop."

"Search engines are optimized for particular types of tasks (e.g., look-up tasks and commerce tasks such as travel and shopping), for particular types of search behaviors (i.e., enter a query, review snippets, make a transaction) and for particular types of searchers (i.e., those who want to quickly find a single piece of information), according to the workshop Web site. "Search engines are not optimized for tasks that require sustained interaction and engagement with information, the use of multiple, diverse search approaches to finding information or for searchers who want to cultivate a deeper understanding of a problem or topic. The goal of the workshop was to "discuss research and challenges in incorporating models of tasks, task-types, and users' needs into systems/tools to support complex, multi-search and multi-session tasks. There are many challenges in creating such task-oriented search systems and the goal of this workshop is to enumerate, discuss, and document these issues into a research agenda that can help guide work in this field. Specifically, this workshop will focus on the following topics:

  • Dr. Jaime ArguelloIdentification, elicitation, modeling and tracking of tasks, processes and states, including the identification of frameworks for conceptualizing task and relevance models;
  • Creation of task-specific and task-aware search environments, including the development of interfaces, tools, features, indexing techniques and search algorithms;
  • Development of methods and measures for studying user behavior and evaluating task-based search systems."

The workshop was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The principal investigator was Dr. Diane Kelly, SILS associate professor, co-PIs were Dr. Jaime Arguello and Dr. Rob Capra, assistant professors; with help from SILS doctoral students Anita Crescenzi, project manager; Kathy Brennan; and Wan-Ching Wu. 

"Congratulations to Diane, Jaime and Rob for organizing and executing a successful workshop on Task-Based Search on the UNC campus March 14-15," said Dr. Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor. 

Dr. Diane KellyThose attending the workshop included: 

  • Eugene Agichtein, Emory University, USA
  • Jae-wook Ahn, Drexel University, USA
  • Jaime Arguello (organizer), University of North Carolina, USA
  • Nick Belkin, Rutgers University, USA
  • Pia Borlund, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark
  • Katriina Byström, University of Boras, Sweden
  • Rob Capra (organizer), University of North Carolina, USA
  • Ben Carterette, University of Delaware, USA
  • Arjen de Vries, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Fernando Diaz, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Abdigani Diriye, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Susan Dumais, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Luanne Freund, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Gene Golovchinsky, FxPAL, USA
  • Jaap Kamps, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Diane Kelly (organizer), University of North Carolina, USA
  • Bill Kules, Catholic University of America, USA
  • Birger Larsen, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark
  • Christina Lioma, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jingjing Liu, University of South Carolina, USA
  • Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina, USA
  • Catherine Smith, Kent State University, USA
  • Mark Smucker, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Simone Stumpf, City University London, UK
  • Jaime Teevan, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Elaine Toms, Sheffield University, UK
  • Pertti Vakkari, University of Tampere, Finland
  • Ryen White, Microsoft Research, USA
  • Barbara Wildemuth, University of North Carolina, USA