Industry Day is a special day that will be co-located with ECIR 2011 on Thursday 21st April 2011. It is devoted to the interests and needs of Information Retrieval practitioners. ECIR 2011 Industry Day provides a topical selection of talks, panels and case studies from the world of search and information access with a focus on issues pertaining to IR practitioners. This will be the fourth ECIR Industry Day (and the first one outside the UK) following very successful events at ECIR 2006 in London, ECIR 2008 in Glasgow and ECIR 2010 in Milton Keynes.

This year's event includes an outstanding range of speakers addressing fundamental issues in search such as scalability and relevance ranking as well as novel and innovative developments in mobile search, semantic analysis and open source search. With this mix of experts we should also get a unique preview into what the future holds. The event should appeal to search practitioners, researchers, consultants, academics, and developers alike.


09:15-09:30 - Welcome

09:30-11:00 - Session 1: Ranking and Relevance

  • Martin Szummer (Microsoft Research) "Learning to rank: new techniques and applications" (slides)
  • Doug Aberdeen (Google) "Inside the Gmail Priority Inbox" (movie)
  • Richard Boulton (Celestial Navigation) "Practical Lessons in Search Ranking, Diversification, Disambiguation and Refinement" (slides)

11:00-11:30 Coffee

11:30-12:30 Session 2: Users & Queries

  • Tyler Tate (TwigKit) "From Lookup to Learning: Information-seeking as a long-term Activity" (slides)
  • Martin White (Intranet Focus) "Search Benchmarking using a Heuristic Technique" (slides)

12:30-14:00 Lunch

Session 3: Platforms & Infrastructure

  • Flavio Junqueira (Yahoo!) "Practical search engine caching" (slides)
  • Francesco Calabrese (IBM) "Understanding urban dynamics from digital traces" (slides)
  • Gery Ducatel (BT) "Information Management Issues for Mobile Workers" (slides)

15:30-16:00 Coffee

16:00-17:30 Session 4: Future Directions in Information Access

  • Charlie Hull (Flax) "Searching the Unexpected - An Open Source Toolkit Approach" (slides)
  • Panel: From Finding to Understanding? There's no doubt that IBM's Watson is a marvel of scientific endeavour and engineering achievement: it combines a synthesis of information retrieval, natural language processing, knowledge representation and reasoning, machine learning, and HCI to compete at the human champion level in real time on the American TV quiz show, Jeopardy. But opinion over its value and significance within the wider search community is divided. Many recognise its contribution to basic research but see the immediate outlook for the search industry as being largely unchanged. Conversely, others see its success as fundamentally changing our expectations of search, with immediate applications in healthcare, customer care, government intelligence and beyond. So what has Watson's success taught us? Which of its scientific advances will have the greatest impact on our everyday search experiences? Where will its many achievements lead us?

17:30 Drinks Reception


The registration fee - Students 99 Euros (after 8th April: 125 Euros), Regular 145 Euros (after 8th April 175 Euros) - includes lunch and a copy of the Industry Day proceedings. Tea and coffee will also be available throughout the day followed by a drinks reception. Please register via the ECIR 2011 Registration page.


Industry Day will be held in the Sky Suite of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. See the Conference Venue page for more details.


If you have any enquiries about the event, please contact Udo Kruschwitz: udo [at]

Industry Day Organisers

  • Tony Russell-Rose, Endeca
  • Udo Kruschwitz, University of Essex

Industry Day Panel

  • Evgeniy Gabrilovich (Yahoo! Research California)
  • Ayse Göker (City University London)
  • Jussi Karlgren (SICS)

Supported By

  • Dublin City University
  • University of Sheffield
  • The British Computer Society