Monthly Archives: January 2008

CSKGOI: Workshop Report

Yesterday the CSKGOI workshop took place. We were a rather small group and 4 presentations took place (one presenter unfortunately did not show up):

  • ScratchTalk and Social Computation: Towards a natural language scripting model (Ian Eslick) [pdf]
  • Thematically Related Words toward Creative Information Retrieval (Eiko Yamamoto, Hitoshi Isahara) [pdf]
  • Paving the Path to Automatic User Task Identification (Anne Gutschmidt, Clemens H. Cap, Friedemann W. Nerdinger) [pdf]
  • Different Degrees of Explicitness in Intentional Artifacts: Studying User Goals in a Large Search Query Log (Markus Strohmaier, Peter Prettenhofer, Mathias Lux) [pdf]

Afterwards we had a very lively discussion about user goals and common sense in user interfaces and applications. Henry Lieberman joined us for the workshop and the discussion. One of the interesting things he said was that at his group they investigated the explicitness of common sense in kid’s books. They found that common sense is only explicit in books intended for kids up to a certain age (around 8). For older kids it is assumed that they already know about theses things. They also found a very interesting corpus for common sense knowledge: Stories for people with autism, where every day tasks and situations are explained like for instance getting your hair cut at a barber shop. It contains hints and associations capturing things one might not think about like “There will be hair on the floor, but you are not meant to touch it”.

All in all the workshop was very successful and we already talked about a possible follow up event.

CfP: Sixth International Conference on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI’08)

The CBMI’08 takes place on 18-20th June, 2008, London, UK. Submission deadline is 5th of February. Conference homepage can be found at

From the CfP: CBMI is the main international forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest technological advances, industrial needs and product developments in multimedia indexing, search, retrieval, navigation and browsing. Following the five successful previous events (Toulouse 1999, Brescia 2001, Rennes 2003, Riga 2005, and Bordeaux 2007), CBMI’08 will be hosted by Queen Mary, University of London in the vibrant city of London. The focus of CBMI’08 is the integration of what could be regarded as unrelated disciplines including image processing, information retrieval, human computer interaction and semantic web technology with industrial trends and commercial product development. The technical program of CBMI’08 will include presentation of invited plenary talks, special sessions as well as regular sessions with contributed research papers.

Learning how to program with Scratch

At the CSKGOI workshop Ian Eslick presented ScratchTalk, a system which creates programs from natural language input. It is based on Scratch, which is an animation framework with a visual program language. Scratch has been developed at the MIT and is used to teach kids how to program. It is rather easy to create a small side scroller game with easy graphics so I think I might give it a try in my teachings (e.g. in “Introduction to computer science” for students from social science).

Here at the IUI 2008

I’m currently attending the Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2008 and we have organized a workshop – the CSKGOI – taking place in the afternoon. I’ve got high expectations and I’m looking forward to a successful event.

The location is great. The conference venue is a luxury hotel and the weather is like in early summer. Unfortunately I’m in a much cheaper hotel so its more like living in a bar without being able to drink :) I’ll post photos, but I’ve lost my USB cable on my 20 h journey. Hope I find one soon.

YouTube’s 2007 Roundup: Most popular Videos 2007

I found it rather late, but it’s still interesting: YouTube brought a round up of the 10 most popular videos in 2007 (actually I only found 9) based on comments, views, reponses, etc. Especially interesting in my opinion is the Battle at Kruger video: The video length is 8:24, so its a rather long video and the actual storyline is rather boring in the beginning. How could this video ever be buzzing? I’d have stopped it at 0:30 at last, so popularity is an interesting concept in my opinion :)

However I grabbed the stats and prepared the following visualizations giving you an impression on the popularity of those videos in quite impressive numbers (click to see them full size):


Fig. 1 – Number of views


Fig. 2 – Number of ratings


Fig. 3 – Number of comments


Fig. 4 – Number of times favorited

If you want to take a look at the numbers yourself: Find the data here: youtube-top10-2007-data.csv

What is the meaning of ESSIR?

Checking out if this year a European Summer School for Information Retrieval takes place a friend of mine found out something interesting: Searching for ESSIR, which is the abbreviation if the event, reveals that ESSIR is not only the IR summer school, but also the ad site “European Society for Sexual and Impotence Research” at :-D

Note that this society actually does not exist, its just a hoax site with sponsored links. It belongs to Marchex Network, which claims to own more than 200.000 web sites and to reach 16% of the internet users. Check out the pages and you will find that there is virtually no information but only sponsored links. Due to the links in between the ad sites and the well chosen domain names ( etc.) they get ranked high. My recommendation: Pull the plug. ;)