Prof. Chirag Shah is receiving the KSJ Award 2019 and giving a keynote at ECIR 2020.

Prof. Chirag Shah is receiving the KSJ Award 2019 and giving a keynote at ECIR 2020.

Our lab director, Prof. Chirag Shah, is receiving the Microsoft BCS/BCS IRSG Karen Spärck Jones Award (KSJ Award) 2019 and he is giving a keynote this Wednesday at the 42nd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2020). 

About the KSJ Award

KSJ Award is created by The British Computer Society Information Retrieval Specialist Group (BCS IRSG) in conjunction with the BCS sine 2008. The award also sponsored by Microsoft Research. See more detail at

About the keynote

“Task-Based Intelligent Retrieval and Recommendation”

While the act of looking for information happens within a context of a task from the user side, most search and recommendation systems focus on user actions (‘what’), ignoring the nature of the task that covers the process (‘how’) and user intent (‘why’). For long, scholars have argued that IR systems should help users accomplish their tasks and not just fulfill a search request. But just as keywords have been good enough approximators for information need, satisfying a set of search requests has been deemed to be good enough to address the task. However, with changing user behaviors and search modalities, specifically found in conversational interfaces, the challenge and opportunity to focus on task have become critically important and central to IR. In this talk, I will discuss some of the key ideas and recent works — both theoretical and empirical — to study and support aspects of task. I will show how we could derive user’s search path or strategy and intentions, and how they could be instrumental in not only creating more personalized search and recommendation solutions, but also solving problems not possible otherwise. Finally, I will extend this to the realm of intelligent assistants with our recent work in a new area called Information Fostering, where our knowledge of the user and the task can help us address another classical problem in IR — people don’t know what they don’t know.

See more detail and join the conference for free at

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