[Intelligence Seminar] April 5, 3:30pm: Presentation by Elad Yom-Tov

Dana Houston dhouston at cs.cmu.edu
Mon Apr 4 09:47:27 EDT 2011


APRIL 5 AT 3:30PM, IN GHC 4303

SPEAKER: ELAD YOM-TOV (Yahoo Research)
Host: Donald McGillen
For meetings, contact Donald McGillen (mcgillen at yahoo-inc.com)


The information need of users and the documents which answer it are
frequently contingent on the different characteristics of users. This
is especially evident during natural disasters, such as earthquakes
and violent weather incidents, which create a strong transient
information need. In this talk I will describe how the information
need of users is affected by their physical and social detachment from
the event. Drawing on large-scale data from three major events, I will
show that social and physical detachment levels of users are a major
influence on their information needs, as manifested by their search
engine queries. I will demonstrate that knowing social and physical
detachment levels can assist in improving retrieval for two
applications: identifying search queries related to events and ranking
results in response to event-related queries. Finally, I will discuss
the relationship of social and mainstream media to user queries, and
show similarities and differences between the three information


Elad Yom-Tov is a Senior Research Scientist at Yahoo Research. Before
joining Yahoo in 2010, he was with the Machine Learning group at IBM
Research Haifa Lab and Rafael. Dr. Yom-Tov received his B.Sc. from
Tel-Aviv University and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Technion - Israel
Institute of Technology. Dr. Yom-Tov has co-authored two books and
over 40 publications in top international conferences and journals,
and filed over 30 patents (6 of which have been granted so far). Two
of his papers won top prizes in their respective venues. His primary
research interests are in large-scale Machine Learning, Information
Retrieval, and in the past few years, social analysis.

Dana M. Houston
Language Technologies Institute
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5407 Gates Hillman Complex
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

T:  (412)268-6591
F:  (412)268-6298

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