SIKS course Advances in Information Retrieval

The concept schedule for the new SIKS course “Advances in Information Retrieval” is out, featuring the best IR research in the Netherlands, if I may say so. More information at:

Monday 4 October 2021


Welcome / coffee

10:00h – 11:45h.

Lecture 1
(2 x 45 minutes)

Mohammad Aliannejadi and Antonis Krasakis (Univerity of Amsterdam)
Conversational Search

12:00 – 12:45h.

Lecture 2
(45 minutes)

Rolf Jagerman (Google) and Harrie Oosterhuis (Radboud University)
Unbiased Learning to Rank, Part 1

12:45 – 13:45h.


13:45 – 16:15h.

Lecture 2
(3 x 40 minutes)

Harrie Oosterhuis (Radboud University) and Rolf Jagerman (Google)
Unbiased Learning to Rank, Part 2

16:30 – 18:00h.

Lecture 3
(2 x 40 minutes)

Christine Bauer (Utrecht University)
Multi-method evaluation



Tuesday 5 October 2021

8:30h. – 10:15h.

Lecture 4
(2 x 45 minutes)

Faegheh Hasibi (Radboud University)
Knowledge graphs & semantic search

10:30 – 12:15h.

Lecture 5
(2 x 45 minutes)

Jaap Kamps (University of Amsterdam)
Neural Information Retrieval

12:15 – 13:30h.


13:30 – 15:15h.

Lecture 6
(2 x 45 minutes)

David Maxwell (Delft University of Technology)
Interactive Information Retrieval



Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval workshop in Delft

The Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval workshop DIR 2016 will be held in Delft on 25 November. The preliminary workshop program contains 2 keynotes, 12 oral presentations and 7 poster presentations. Max Wilson from the University of Nottingham will provide an Human Computer Interaction perspective on Information Retrieval. Carlos Castillo from Eurecat will talk about the detection of algorithmic discrimination.

DIR 2016

Register at


SIKS/Twente Seminar on Searching and Ranking

Together with SIKS and the CTIT we have organized several one day seminars, usually in conjunction with a PhD defense here in Twente.

  • SSR-1: Searching and Ranking in Structured Text Repositories on 27 June 2008, with Debora Donato, and Ricardo Baeza-Yates, both from Yahoo! Research Barcelona
  • SSR-2: Searching and Ranking in Enterprises, on 24 June 2009 with David Hawking (Funnelback & Australian National University), Iadh Ounis (University of Glasgow), and Maarten de Rijke (University of Amsterdam)
  • SSR-3: Effectiveness of Searching and Ranking on 29 January 2010, with Leif Azzopardi from University of Glasgow, UK, and Vanessa Murdock form Yahoo! Research, Barcelona
  • SSR-4: Searching and Ranking Multimedia on 2 July 2010 with Alexander Hauptmann from Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
  • SSR-5: Biomedical Text Mining on 1 September 2010 with Dietrich Rebholz-Schuhmann (European Bioinformatics Institute, UK) and Martijn Schuemie (Erasmus MC/Leiden University Medical Center, Rotterdam)
  • SSR-6: Searching Speech: Evaluation of Speech Recognition in Context on 5 July 2012 with Gareth Jones (Dublin City University, Ireland), David van Leeuwen (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands Forensic Institute), and Lori Lamel (Limsi – CNRS, France)
  • SSR-7: Distributing Search on 26 September 2012 with Jamie Callan (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Fabio Crestani (University of Lugano, Switzerland), Johan Pouwelse (Delft University of Technology)
  • SSR-8: Explorations in interactive retrieval and information experience on 29 August 2013 with Peter Ingwersen (Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen, Denmark), Ian Ruthven (Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland), and Richard Glassey (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland)
  • SSR-9: Understanding the Web on 19 December 2013 with Weiyi Meng (State University of New York at Binghamton, USA) and Gertjan van Noord (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
  • SSR-10: Learning for Information Retrieval on 14 February 2014 with Alan Smeaton (Dublin City University, Ireland) and Arjen de Vries (CWI, Amsterdam)
  • SSR-11: Monitoring and preventing Cyberbullying on 12 September 2014 with Debra Pepler (York University, Canada) and Veronique Hoste (Ghent University, Belgium)
  • SSR-12: Probabilistic Approaches to Smart Discovery on 16 October 2015 with Ingo Frommholz (University of Bedfordshire, UK) and Tom Heskes (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
  • SSR-13: Deep Web Entity Monitoring on 2 June 2016 with Gianluca Demartini (University of Sheffield, UK), Andrea Calì (Birkbeck, University of London, UK) and Pierre Senellart (Télécom ParisTech, France)
  • SSR-14: Text as social and cultural data on 10 March 2017 with Anders Søgaard (University of Copenhagen), Jacob Eisenstein (Georgia Institute of Technology), Lysbeth Jongbloed-Faber (De Fryske Akademy), Leonie Cornips (Meertens Institute), Tom Kenter (University of Amsterdam), Folgert Karsdorp (Meertens Institute), John Nerbonne (University of Groningen/Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)

How to build Google in an Afternoon

How many machines do we need to search and manage an index of billions of documents? In this lecture, I will discuss basic techniques for indexing very large document collections. I will discuss inverted files, index compression, and top-k query optimization techniques, showing that a single desktop PC suffices for searching billions of documents. An important part of the lecture will be spend on estimating index sizes and processing times. At the end of the afternoon, students will have a better understanding of the scale of the web and its consequences for building large-scale web search engines, and students will be able to implement a cheap but powerful new 'Google'.

To be presented at the SIKS Course Advances in Information Retrieval on 18, 19 June in Vught, The Netherlands.

Maarten Fokkinga retires

Today, Maarten Fokkinga retires after a scientific career of more than 40 years. Maarten is well-kown for his work on functional programming and category theory. Some of his well-known and well-cited works include: Functional programming with bananas, lenses, envelopes and barbed wire with Eric Meijer and Ross Paterson, Law and Order in Algorithmics, his Ph.D thesis, and Monadic Maps and Folds for Arbitrary Datatypes (yes, those are maps and reduces!)

To celebrate Maarten's long successful career, Jan Kuper and I wrote recipes for curried bananas and pasta, appropriately formalized in Haskell, so Maarten can both cook and enjoy programming after his retirement. Download the recipes from Github.

DIR 2013 in Delft

On 26 April, the 13th edition of the Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop series, DIR 2013, will be hosted at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. DIR invites novel previously unpublished work, compressed presentations of previous major international contributions, as well as demonstrations of applied research and industry applications. The workshop serves as a forum for exchange and discussion on relevant challenges in the fields of information retrieval, data mining and natural language processing.

More information at:

Dutch-Belgian Database Day in Brussels

The Dutch-Belgian Database Day 2012 (DBDBD 2012) will be held in Brussels, Belgium on November 21st, 2012. The DBDBD is a yearly one-day workshop organized by a Belgian or Dutch university, whose general topic is database research. At the DBDBD, junior researchers from the Netherlands and Belgium can present their recent results, and meet senior researchers in the field of databases. DBDBD invites submissions (1 page abstract) on a broad range of database and database-related topics.

More information at:

Seminar on Distributing Search

The 7th SSR on Distributing Search will take place on 26 September 2012 at the University of Twente. Invited speakers are:

  • Jamie Callan (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
  • Johan Pouwelse (Delft University of Technology)
  • Fabio Crestani (University of Lugano, Switzerland)

SSR-7 will take place at the campus of the University of Twente at the Ravelijn, lecture hall 2504. The event is sponsored by the Netherlands research School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT). Please visit the SSR-7 home page for more information.

SIKS/Twente Seminar on Searching Speech

The 6th SSR on Searching Speech: Evaluation of Speech Recognition in Context will take place on 5 July 2012 at the University of Twente. Invited speakers are:

  • Gareth Jones (Dublin City University, Ireland)
  • David van Leeuwen (University Nijmegen and Netherlands Forensic Institute)
  • Lori Lamel (Limsi – CNRS, France)

SSR-6 is organized by Franciska de Jong, Laurens van der Werff en Thijs Verschoor, and will take place at the campus of the University of Twente at the Citadel (building 9), lecture hall H327. The event is sponsored by the Netherlands research School for Information and Knowledge Systems (SIKS), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT). Please visit the SSR-6 home page for more information.

DIR 2012 in beautiful Ghent


On February 23rd and 24th 2012, the “12th Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop” (DIR 2012) will be organised at the Ghent University conference center Het Pand. One of the primary goals of this year's edition of DIR is to create an informal meeting place between the major IR research groups and related companies in Belgium and the Netherlands, to exchange information and to present innovative research developments. If your field of expertise is situated in the broad area of Information Retrieval, you are warmly invited to submit a “short paper” (4 pages) containing new research results, or a “compressed contribution” (2 pages) from a recent high-standard conference or journal paper. For companies active in this area, we offer the opportunity to submit demo papers, focusing on novel IR technology and applications. All further information regarding DIR 2012 can be found on