The tutorials take place on Tuesday 29 November one day before the Search Solutions.

The tutorials offer conference attendees and local participants a stimulating and informative selection of practical training courses reflecting current topics and state-of-the-art methods in search and information retrieval. These tutorials will be presented by subject matter experts and will reflect the high academic and professional standards of the Search Solutions conference series.

We offer scholarships or fee waivers for unemployed BCS members looking to advance their careers: please contact the tutorial chair ( if you are eligible and interested.


Morning Session 09:30 - 13:00

Designing Search, Instructor: Tony Russell-Rose, UXLabs Ltd (Wilkes Room 3)

Search is not just a box and ten blue links. Search is a journey: an exploration where what we encounter along the way changes what we seek. But in order to guide people along this journey, we must understand both the art and science of user experience design. The aim of this tutorial is to deliver a learning experience grounded in good scholarship, integrating the latest research findings with insights derived from the practical experience of designing and optimizing dozens of commercial search applications. It focuses on the development of transferable, practical skills that can be learnt and practiced within a half-day session.

Query Log Mining for Inferring User Tasks and Needs , Instructor: Emine Yilmaz and Rishabh Mehrotra, UCL (Wilkes Room 4)

Search behavior, and information behavior more generally, is often motivated by tasks that prompt search processes that are often lengthy, iterative, and intermittent, and are characterized by distinct stages, shifting goals and multitasking. Developing a comprehensive understanding of user's needs and tasks would help in providing better support and recommendations to users based on their contextual information and as a result, help users accomplish their information needs. In this tutorial, we begin by discussing recent advancements towards inferring user needs and tasks from query logs and present analytical results which highlight the importance of considering tasks as the focal unit of modeling search behavior. We consider the challenge of extracting tasks from a given collection of search log data and present some recently proposed task extraction techniques which rely on recent advancements in bayesian non parametrics, word embeddings and memory networks. We further show how tasks could be useful for personalisation of search results.

Afternoon Session 14:00 - 17:30

Text Analysis with GATE., Instructor: Diana Maynard, University of Sheffield (Wilkes Room 3)

This tutorial takes a detailed view of key text mining tasks (introduction to NLP, linguistic pre-processing, entity and relation recognition, semantic annotation, indexing and multi-paradigm search) of textual content. It will cover both the latest state-of-the-art research and selected established methods and tools. It will show how text analysis tools and techniques can be used to assist with semantic search by providing extra information that is not explicit within the text itself. Finally, some real world applications of the technology will be demonstrated, showcasing the entire pipeline of data collection, annotation, indexing, search and visualization.

Enterprise search evaluation - good practice in action, Instructors: Paul Clough, University of Sheffield and Martin White, Intranet Focus Ltd (Wilkes Room 4)

Search is a core component in many applications, including in the enterprise. Central to developing and managing search systems are questions of evaluation. After all, without evaluation we cannot quantify the performance of a search system or its value to end users and service providers. Although there has been a significant amount if research into the evaluation of information systems and search applications the outcomes are often not scalable to enterprise situations where there are a range of search applications, complex user requirements and constraints on staff resources. This tutorial will provide an overview of approaches commonly used to evaluate search systems with particular focus on the enterprise. We are developing an evaluation framework that combines the best of academic research with the realities of enterprise search management. At this workshop we will present the framework that offers practice guidance on enterprise search evaluation and gather feedback from delegates for peer review and enhancement.


Registration fees (including VAT at 20%) are as follows (per tutorial):

Early Bird Rates (until 23:59 on 31 Oct 2016)

BCS/ISKO member rate: £90
Non-member rate: £110

Normal Rates (after 31 Oct 2016)

BCS/ISKO member rate: £110
Non-member rate: £130

Cancellations & Refunds

A full refund will be issued if a cancellation is received within 14 days of the booking date or by 12:00pm on Monday 28 November, otherwise name substitutions will be allowed if notified before the closing date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

Tutorials panel

Dr A. MacFarlane, City University London (Chair)
Dr M. Oakes, University of Wolverhampton
Dr C. Inskip, University College London