Basser Seminar Series

Beyond 10 Blue Links: Seven Challenges

Speaker: Professor Ricardo Baeza-Yates

Time: Tuesday 4 September 2012, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Location: The University of Sydney
School of Electrical and Information Engineering, Building J03,
Madsen Theatre (Room 351),
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The classic Web search experience, consisting of returning ``ten blue links" in response to a short user query, is powered today by a mature technology where progress has become incremental and expensive. Furthermore, the ``ten blue links" represent only a fractional part of the total Web search experience: today, what users expect and receive in response to a ``web query'' is a plethora of multimedia information extracted and synthesized from numerous sources on and off the Web. In consequence, we argue that the major technical challenges in Web search are now driven by the quest to satisfy the implicit and explicit needs of users, continuing a long evolutionary trend in commercial Web search engines going back more than fifteen years, moving from relevant document selection towards satisfactory task completion. We identify seven of these challenges and discuss them in some detail. This is joint work with Andrei Broder and Yoelle Maarek.

Speaker's biography

Ricardo Baeza-Yates is VP of Yahoo! Research for Europe, Middle East and Latin America, leading the labs at Barcelona, Spain and Santiago, Chile, as well as supervising the newer lab in Haifa, Israel.

Until 2005 he was the director of the Centre for Web Research at the Department of Computer Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile; and ICREA Professor at the Department of Technology of the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

He is the co-author of the best-seller book Modern Information Retrieval, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley with a second edition in 2011, as well as co-author of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991; and co-editor of Information Retrieval: Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992, among more than 200 other publications.

He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences 1993) and several national awards in Chile. In 2003 he was the first computer scientist to be elected to the Chilean Academy of Sciences. During 2007 he was awarded the Graham Medal for innovation in computing, given by the University of Waterloo to distinguished ex-alumni. In 2009 he was awarded the Latin American distinction for contributions to CS in the region and became an ACM Fellow, followed in 2011 by an IEEE Fellowship.