Special Topics On Information Retrieval


Dr. Manuel Montes y Gómez
Office: CH 126
Office hours: 9:00 to 13:00
Lecture sections: Tuesday and Thursday; CH 145; 15:30-16:45

Course Description:

This course provides an advanced overview to the task of Information Retrieval and state-of-the art approaches in this field. It mainly focuses on presenting some recent approaches for improving the retrieval performance such as sense-based indexing and information fusion. Then, in the final part, it introduces some important subtasks and applications, such as geographic information retrieval, multilingual retrieval, and spoken document retrieval. This course is intended for students that already have some background on information retrieval.

The Syllabus of the course can be donwloaded here.


  1. Introduction to information retrieval
    • Definition of the task
    • Vector space model
    • Performance evaluation
    • Main problems and basic solutions
  2. Beyond word-based representations
    • Indexing with POS tags
    • Indexing with phrases
    • Indexing by senses
    • Concept-based IR (DOR and TCOR representations)
  3. Robust information retrieval
    • Robust information retrieval
    • Query performance prediction
    • Methods for information fusion
    • Context-based information retrieval
  4. Application tasks
    • Spoken document retrieval
    • Geographic information retrieval
    • Question answering

Slides for the course:


All assignments will consider the writing of a brief report (1-2 pages) about a selected research paper. Written reports must include the description of the problem, the proposed solution and achieved results, and some ideas for work improvement.

Assignment 1: Read a paper about challenges of IR, the probabilistic model for IR, or evaluation of IR. Due date: 08/24.

Assignment 2: Read a paper about query expansion. Due date: 09/07.

Assignment 3: Read a paper about word sense disambiguation in IR. Due date: 09/21.

Assignment 4: Read a paper about query performance prediction, information fusion, or context-based information retrieval. Due date 10/05.

Assigment 5: Written report describing your course project (problem and proposed solution). Due date 10/19.

Assigment 6: Read a paper about spoken document retrieval or geografic information retrieval. Due date 11/04.

Assigment 7: Read a paper about question answering. Due date 11/23.