Ilaria Bordino, Yelena Mejova, Mounia Lalmas Awarded Best Paper at CIKM 2013

Nov 1, 2013

Ilaria Bordino, Yelena Mejova, Mounia LalmasWe are very pleased to announce that three of our colleagues -- Ilaria Bordino, Yelena Mejova, and Mounia Lalmas -- have been distinguished with a Best Paper award this week at the 22nd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2013).

The paper, entitled “Penguins in Sweaters, or Serendipitous Entity Search on User-generated Content,” looks at “unexpected, yet interesting and useful results” from user-generated content. The publication asks, “What makes a result serendipitous?” and then answers the question by “exploring the potential of entities extracted from two sources... Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers.” (And yes, it actually references real penguins in sweaters). In conducting their research, Ilaria, Yelena, and Mounia devised an algorithm based on “lazy random walk with restart to retrieve entity recommendations from the networks.” According to the authors, “We show that our method provides novel results from both datasets, compared to standard web search engines. However, unlike previous research, we find that choosing highly emotional entities does not increase user interest for many categories of entities, suggesting a more complex relationship between topic matter and the desirable metadata attributes in serendipitous search.” We are proud Ilaria, Yelena, and Mounia represent a very strong and growing female research cohort at Yahoo Labs. Ilaria is a Research Scientist in our Web Mining group in Barcelona and works on Web information retrieval, Web mining and query-log mining. Yelena is a postdoctoral researcher who also works on the Barcelona Web Mining team. She is a part of the EU project LiMoSINe (Linguistically Motivated Semantic Aggregation Engines), the results of which are described in the CIKM paper. Yelena is also interested in computational social science such as data-driven international relations mining, human behavior analysis, and social media and politics. Mounia is a Principal Research Scientist and leads our new User Engagement group based in London. The group focuses on developing innovative models and metrics of user engagement through the study of user behavior, web analytics, the analysis of users’ emotion and attention, and mouse and gaze movement. CIKM is a well-known, highly competitive ACM conference in the areas of information retrieval, knowledge management, and databases. This year, the conference received 848 paper submissions to the research track with an acceptance rate just below 17%. According to CIKM organizers, the purpose of the conference is to identify challenging problems facing the development of future knowledge and information systems, and to shape future research directions through the publication of high quality applied and theoretical research findings. Congratulations to Ilaria, Yelena, and Mounia on their well-deserved recognition!