24th International Conference on Scientific and Statistical
Information for Delegates
Keynote 2: Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Yahoo! Research
Usage Data in Web Search: Benefits and Limitations
Web Search, which takes its root in the mature field of information retrieval, evolved tremendously over the last 20 years. The field encountered its first revolution when it started to deal with huge amounts of Web pages. Then, a major step was accomplished when engines started to consider the structure of the Web graph and link analysis became a differentiator in both crawling and ranking. Finally, a more discrete, but not less critical step, was made when search engines started to monitor and mine the numerous (mostly implicit) signals provided by users while interacting with the search engine. We focus here on this third "revolution" of large scale usage data. We detail the different shapes it takes, illustrating its benefits through a review of some winning search features that could not have been possible without it. We also discuss its limitations and how in some cases it even conflicts with some natural users' aspirations such as personalization and privacy. We conclude by discussing how some of these conflicts can be circumvented by using adequate aggregation principles to create "ad hoc" crowds. This is joint work with Yoelle Maarek from Yahoo! Labs Haifa.
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 Center for Web Research at the Department of Computer Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile; and ICREA Professor at the Dept. of Technology of the Univ. Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He is co-author of the best-seller Modern Information Retrieval textbook, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley with a second enlarged edition in 201r10, 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 300 other publications. He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences (1993) and the CLEI Latin American distinction for contributions to CS in the region (2009). 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 named ACM Fellow and in 2011 IEEE Fellow.