ACM SIGIR 2017 to Present the Latest Developments in Information Retrieval

Marking its 40th anniversary, SIGIR will showcase papers selected for the Test of Time Award

NEW YORK & Tokyo, Japan, July 19, 2017 – Recognized as one of the longest-running conferences on information retrieval (IR), the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (ACM SIGIR) proudly announces SIGIR 2017. Showcasing the latest research and development in information retrieval, the conference will be held August 7-11, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, SIGIR 2017 will include an expanded Test of Time (ToT) awards ceremony. Test of Time Awards are presented for conference papers published 10 to 12 years prior to the year of the award, thus, having had a long-lasting influence on IR research. Because the ToT is a relatively new award, it did not include highly influential papers that were written before 2001.

For the first time this year, organizers will select papers presented between 1978 and 2001 for ToT Awards. These older papers will be recognized along with the 2017, and other recent awardees, to illustrate the continuum of outstanding research advances in information retrieval over the past four decades.  The aim of the ceremony is to highlight the development and evolution of IR as well as underline the role that ACM SIGIR conferences have played over the years in advancing the field.

In addition, the five-day conference will include the latest research, technical demonstrations, tutorials and workshops, as well as an industry track and social events. For the first time, authors of 2016 papers published in ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), the “house journal” of SIGIR, have also been invited to present their work at the conference.

“In the 1950s, information retrieval research was about finding books and papers in libraries,” said ACM SIGIR 2017 General Co-Chair Tetsuya Sakai, Waseda University, Japan. “Today, it is about organizing massive and diverse digital data, and enabling effective and efficient access of relevant information from them; it is about satisfying the information need of every desktop and mobile user everywhere at any time. This year, we had a record number of paper submissions, and are already seeing a 37 percent increase in registration over last year. With some of the world’s foremost IR experts and practitioners in attendance, and an exciting agenda, SIGIR 2017 promises to be extremely vibrant and informative."


Keynote Speakers (All times local to Tokyo, GMT+9)

Forward to the Past: Notes Towards a Pre-History of Web Search
Stephen E. Robertson, Professor Emeritus at City University of London, Visiting Professor at University College London, and a Life Fellow at Girton College Cambridge
5F Eminence Hall, Tuesday, August 8, 9:30-10:30
An awareness of history is a fundamental requirement for progress; and those in the field of information retrieval are currently ill-served in this domain, or at least not as aware as they should be. This talk will review the history of IR and provide anecdotal evidence that may help future historians.

Mail Search: It’s Getting Personal!
Yoelle Maarek, Vice President of Research at Yahoo
5F Eminence Hall, Wednesday, August 9, 9:00-10:00
Web Mail has significantly changed in the last decade, and its rapid growth along with increased storage capacity mean that thousands upon thousands of messages are accumulating without being deleted. This talk will highlight key characteristics of mail search and how they differ from Web search, in terms of searchers’ needs and behavior and provide directions for future research.

Tutorials (Highlights)

Neural Networks for Information Retrieval (NN4IR)
Presenters from the University of Amsterdam and Microsoft will examine the important role that neural network research and machine learning play in many aspects of modern IR systems. Additionally, the presenters will peek into the future by examining recently introduced paradigms as well as current challenges. Topics covered in this highly interactive tutorial will include semantic matching, ranking, user interaction and response generation.

Health Search: from Consumers to Clinicians
Health search is an area of information retrieval with significant societal impact. Whether it is searching patient records, helping medical professionals find best-practice evidence or helping the public locate reliable and readable information online, health search is a challenging area for IR research with an actively growing community and many open problems. Presenters from Queensland University and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) will provide attendees with a full stack of knowledge on health search, from understanding users and their problems to practical, hands-on sessions on current tools and techniques, current campaigns and evaluation resources, as well as important open questions and future directions.

Industry Track
SIGIR also includes an industry event, the Symposium on IR in Practice (SIRIP), that brings together industry participants to present innovative approaches used in their companies. The event features presentations from a broad range of prominent technology companies, including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Spotify, eBay, Yahoo, and Yandex. Topics covered include search, recommendation, e-commerce, advertising, and experimentation. Presenters from startups and elsewhere will also offer lessons learned from growing new businesses in the search arena.

Examples of Industry Track Presentations Include:

Start-Ups and Beyond
August 10 (Thursday) 11:10-12:30, 42F Fuji
David Hawking (Microsoft (Bing)), Dhruv Arya (LinkedIn), Ganesh Venkataraman (LinkedIn), Fernando Diaz (Spotify), Ido Guy (eBay Research), Kira Radinsky (eBay Research)

Start-Up Research and Academic Collaboration
August 10 (Thursday) 14:30-15:50, 42F Fuji
Sudong Chung (Wider Planet, Co. Ltd.), Anton Firsov (Knoema), Ricardo Baeza-Yates (NTENT), Barbara Poblete (University of Chile)

Research at Large-scale Search Engines
August 10 (Thursday) 16:20-17:40, 42F Fuji
Jingfang Xu (Sogou, Inc.), Feifei Zhai (Sogou, Inc.), Zhengshan Xue (Sogou, Inc.), Hideyuki Maeda (Yahoo Japan Corporation), Pavel Serdyukov (Yandex), Inho Kang (Naver Corporation)

Additional information about SIGIR2017, including a full program and schedule of events may be found at

About SIGIR Conferences

The SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval is the major international forum for the presentation of new research results and for the demonstration of new systems and techniques in the field of information retrieval (IR). The SIGIR conference welcomes contributions related to any aspect of IR theory, foundations, techniques, and applications, and solicits proposals for workshops, demonstrations, tutorials, and industry-oriented papers.


SIGIR is the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval. Since 1963, SIGIR has promoted research, development and education in the area of search and other information access technologies. SIGIR sponsors or co-sponsors several conferences including SIGIR, CIKM, JCDL, WSDM, ICTIR and CHIIR, and recently started the SIGIR Student Travel Grant program to help students attend these conferences. SIGIR publishes SIGIR Forum, a twice-yearly newsletter, maintains SIGIR-list and supports IR-related events through the Friends of SIGIR program.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

Jim Ormond
[email protected]

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