Milano, Italy
2009 International Workshop on
Web Information Retrieval Support Systems
September 15, 2009 (Milano, Italy)
WI 2009:
WI 2009:
WI 2009:
WI 2009:
Other Workshops

WIRSS 2009 was a success. Come see us at WIRSS 2010.

The 2009 International Workshop on Web Information Retrieval Support Systems will be held in collaboration with the 2009 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI 2009), September 15-18, 2009 in Milano, Italy.

WIRSS Overview

The traditional definition of information retrieval focuses on automated searching within digital collections. The goal is to find all the relevant documents, while selecting as few of the non-relevant documents as possible. One drawback of this definition is that it provides little acknowledgment of the activities users may wish to perform with the information retrieval system. The underlying assumption is that users are able to accurately describe their information needs to the system, and that providing ranked lists of documents will satisfy the users' needs.

Two key aspects of conducting Web searches, crafting queries and evaluating search results, are inherently human tasks. Searchers have mental models of the information needs they wish to satisfy, and draw upon their knowledge of other related concepts as they seek documents that may be relevant to this information need. When using a Web search engine to assist in fulfilling an information seeking goal, a balance must be struck between computer automation and human control. It is the human decision-making aspect of Web search that Web Information Retrieval Support Systems aim to enhance and promote. Such systems are especially valuable for Web search tasks that are ambiguous or exploratory in nature.

While traditional Web search systems focus on search and browsing functionalities, Web Information Retrieval Support Systems focus on the functionalities that support user-centric tasks that are performed with the Web search system. In order for users to extract useful information from the Web, and be able to make effective use of this information, users must take an active role in the tasks associated with Web search. These tasks include crafting and refining queries; browsing, investigating and exploring search results sets; and analyzing, understanding, and organizing retrieved documents.

Fundamentally, this is a change in the design philosophy which moves the focus of Web search from the documents being searched to the tasks that people need to perform. We believe this philosophical shift will mark the move towards next-generation Web search systems, and a transition from information retrieval to knowledge retrieval.

The aim of this full-day workshop is to bring together academic and industry researchers to discuss advances in providing intelligent support for the user-centric tasks associated with Web search. Researchers from diverse fields such as information retrieval, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, information visualization, Web systems, natural language processing, and agent systems are invited to contribute to this workshop.

Issues to be Explored

The issues that we wish to explore within the WIRSS Workshop include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • interactive query refinement
  • search results representations and visualization
  • search results exploration
  • re-finding information
  • search results storage and organization
  • document summarization
  • personalization
  • multi-level and multi-view representations
  • Web search user behaviour
  • user studies of WIRSS
  • knowledge management systems
For more information on the WIRSS Workshop, contact Dr. Orland Hoeber (hoeber <at>