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Course "Advanced Topics in Information Retrieval" WS 2014/2015

Dr. Klaus Berberich, Dhruv Gupta


  • The focus of this advanced course is on recent topics in Information Retrieval research, which are typically not (yet) covered in textbooks or our core course Information Retrieval & Data Mining. These include (a) search in social media (e.g., twitter and facebook), (b) making use of semantic annotations (e.g., named entities, temporal expressions, or geographic references), (c) learning to rank documents based on many features, and (d) evaluating IR systems offline and online. The course will mostly be based on research papers from the last five years published in conferences such as SIGIR, WSDM, WWW, and CIKM, some of which students will have to read for a deeper understanding.


  • Lecturer: Klaus Berberich (Office hours: Monday 13:00-14:00)
  • Tutor: Dhruv Gupta
  • Lectures (weekly): Monday at 10:15-11:45 in Room 024, Building E1.4 (MPI-INF)
  • Tutorials (biweekly): Monday at 14:15-15:45 in Room 323, Building E1.7 (MMCI)
  • Assignments (biweekly): Handed out during the lecture on Monday; due by 23:59 on the Thursday of the following week; up to six problems; solutions must be submitted as PDF to atir2014 (at) mpi - inf . mpg . de
  • Google group for discussions among students

Prerequisites & Requirements

  • Prior knowledge in Information Retrieval is expected. You should have successfully participated in the core course Information Retrieval & Data Mining or an equivalent course
  • Submit serious or presentable solutions to at least 50% of assignment problems
  • Present solutions at least once in tutorial; additional presentation yield bonus points (corresponding to one grade mark; at most one per tutorial; at most three in total)
  • Pass oral exam at the end of the semester (February 10/11 9:00-17:00) in R433 (rotunda) / E1.4 (MPI-INF)


  • Google group for the course is up. Please ask to join!
  • Schedule for oral exam on February 10/11 is available
  • Please send questions for the Q&A lecture on February 9 before February 4
  • Schedule for re-exam on March 3rd is available
  • Grades have been posted and entered into HISPOS



Background Literature

  • Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, Hinrich Schütze: Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press, 2008. (Website)
  • Stefan Büttcher, Charles L. A. Clarke, Gordon V. Cormack. Information Retrieval: Implementing and Evaluating Search Engines, MIT Press, 2010 (Website)
  • R. Baeza-Yates, R. Ribeiro-Neto. Modern Information Retrieval: The concepts and technology behind search, Addison-Wesley, 2010.