Santiago, Chile

August 9-13, 2015

The 38th Annual ACM SIGIR Conference

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Web Question Answering: Beyond Factoids

Web search engines have made great progress at answering factoid queries, such as "how many people live in Australia?". However, for more complex or broad questions which could benefit from a longer response (e.g., "history of Australia"), current search engine resort to returning a link to a detailed web document. Questions submitted on the Web can be either short and ambiguous (such as Web queries to a search engine), or long and detailed (such as questions posted in forums or question answering sites). Furthermore, searcher questions are diverse, ranging from advice on fixing a broken sink to requests for opinions on the best basketball player of all time. In this workshop we aim to explore the boundaries of Web question answering to better understand the spectrum of approaches and possible responses that are more detailed than a short fact, yet are more useful than a full result list. The workshop will provide a forum to explore the specific challenges associated with Web QA, such as query understanding, answer extraction, and source selection. We hope to bring together researchers working on, or interested in, question answering on the Web to share latest research results or ideas, and to discuss future directions.

More info at


Eugene Agichtein
Emory University

Eugene Agichtein is an Associate Professor in the Math and Computer Science department at Emory University and a visiting Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo Labs in Haifa. Eugene's general research interests are in web search and information retrieval, text and data mining, and human computer interaction. He coauthored over 100 publications, including best paper awards at SIGMOD, SIGIR, and WSDM.

David Carmel

David Carmel is a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo Labs in Haifa. David's research is focused on search and content quality analysis in community question answering sites, query performance prediction, vertical search, and text mining. David has published more than 90 papers in IR and Web journals and conferences, and he is coauthor of the book "Estimating the Query Difficulty for Information Retrieval", published by Morgan & Claypool, 2010.

Charles Clarke
University of Waterloo

Charles Clarke is a Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research interests include information retrieval, web search, and text data mining. He has published on a wide range of topics, including papers related to question answering, XML, filesystem search, user interfaces, computational advertising, statistical natural language processing, and the evaluation of information retrieval systems. He is a coauthor of the book Information Retrieval: Implementing and Evaluating Search Engines, MIT Press, 2010.

Praveen Paritosh

Praveen Paritosh is a research scientist at Google in the area of human and machine intelligence. He designed the large scale human machine curation systems for Freebase and the Google Knowledge Graph. His research interests include crowdsourcing, question answering, knowledge representation, and on evaluation in artificial intelligence. He was the organizer and chair for the Crowdsourcing at Scale 2013 (, and Connecting online learning and work 2014 ( workshops at the AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowd-sourcing, and the AAAI Winter 2014 Conference.

Dan Pelleg

Dan Pelleg is a research director at Yahoo Labs Israel, managing the Answering research group. He received his Ph.D. in machine learning from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. Prior to Yahoo, he worked for IBM Research, on automatic monitoring of computer systems and on green analytics. His current interests are information retrieval, recommender systems, user engagement and retention, and social signal processing. He authored over 25 papers in leading conferences and journals, holds fourteen patents, and was appointed IBM Master Inventor.

Idan Szpektor

Idan Szpektor is a senior research scientist at Yahoo Labs in Haifa. Idan's research is focused on Natural Language Processing and its applications in IR and community question answering. He published over 25 papers in leading conferences and journals related to textual entailment, knowledge acquisition and text generation in NLP, and to information retrieval, question answering, recommender systems and quality analysis in the field of community question answering.

« Go back to SIGIR 2015 accepted workshops

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