Saturday, 27 December 2008

Karen Spärck Jones' homepage gone :(

I'm a little bit sad to have to edit Wikipedia entry on Karen Spärck Jones and remove the link to her home page on University of Cambridge Computer Science department's web space, as it appears to have been removed. This would have been a nice snapshot of history to have kept online, even if they have added an obituary and CV to their site.

Enjoying the holiday break - I hope you are too.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Quiet Blog

Despite promising to be more vocal on my blog, a very unsmooth move of house means that i have barely seen the internet! I have been searching a lot though. which box is X in, etc. More to come here soon. Max

Friday, 5 December 2008

Search Result Layouts

With the release of Yahoo's search monkey, and Google's Search Wiki, its been pretty exciting to see big companies (beyond who set off with some novel aspects like adding a thumbnail per result) experimenting heavily with their layouts. I didn't even notice for ages something different that Live Search does - if a Wikipedia entry is a result, then it puts the whole first paragraph of the entry as the text snippit, regardless of how long it is (it seems). This appears to have occured because the first paragraph of a Wikipedia entry is perhaps the best overview of that topic you're gonna get. This is contrary to the policy, promoted academically by White et al in SIGIR02, that putting the sentences that includes your keywords in the result is currently the best policy.

Search Monkey is interesting, too, because it allows you, as a user, to control how your web search results come up. If you want a special view of imdb results, or wikipedia results, you just include the available extra template. It will be interesting to see if representations stablise any time soon to produce a new standard after the now familiar: name, snippit, link combo.

I'm Back...

I've been totally off radar now for 3 months according to my last post! Where did it all go wrong? I blame the thesis! I've been all over the place recently, interning at Microsoft Research Cambridge, and trying to finish of my PhD work, that I put myself down into a work hole, until i realised that i'd cut myself off from some of the best resources available to me: like Daniel Tunkelang's Blog: The Noisy Channel. Step 1, obviously, was to read the >150 posts of his I was behind on. Always worth a read.

During that time, however, I've been stewing over a lot of cool stuff that I've seen including some pretty interesting events in London. I'll get right back on the horse with the next post!