Advanced Topics in Information Retrieval

Advanced course, 6 ECTS credits, summer semester 2016

Basic Information


  • Advanced course, 6 ECTS credits


 Time & Location

  • Lectures every Thursday 14-16 in Room 023 in building E1.4 (Except for lectures on 16th and 23rd June, they will be held in room 0.01 
     in building E 1.7 (MMCI))
  • Tutorials will be held on selected Mondays 14-16 in Room 023 in building E1.4 (Except for June 13th it will be held in room 0.01 
     in building E 1.7 (MMCI))
  • Assignments: A total of six assignments will be handed out biweekly (almost) during the lecture on Thursday; due by 23:59 on the Thursday of the following week;  solutions must be submitted as PDF to atir16 (at) mpi - inf . mpg . de

The first lecture is on Thursday, April 21.

Tentative Schedule and Lecture Slides

  • Apr 21: Basic Concepts and Tools
  • Apr 28: NLP for IR and Evaluation Measures 
PDFJSAssignment 1 handed out PDF (due: 05.05.2016) Data 
  • May 5: No lecture
  • May 9: Tutorial 1
JSDiscuss/present solutions for Assignment 1
  • May 12: Efficiency and Scalability
PDFVSPapers referred in the slides
  • May 19: Mining and Organizing

Papers referred in the slides, Assignment 2 handed out  PDF (due: 26.05.2016) 

(sample code for programming assignment 01 can be downloaded here)

  • May 26: No lecture
  • May 30: Tutorial 2
VSDiscuss/present solutions for Assignment 2
  • Jun 2: Diversity and Novelty
Papers referred in the slides, 
Assignment 3 handed out PDF (due: 09.06.2016) 
  • Jun 9: Semantic Search

Assignment 4 handed out PDF(due: 16.06.2016)

  • Jun 13: Tutorial 3
VSMoved to June 20th
  • Jun 16: Temporal Information Extraction

This lecture will be held in room 0.01 in building E 1.7 (MMCI);

Assignment 5A handed out PDF(due: 30.06.2016)

  • Jun 20: Tutorial 4
JSDiscuss/present solutions for Assignment 4
  • Jun 23:  Temporal Information Retrieval 1

Assignment 5B handed out PDF (due: 30.06.2016)

This lecture will be held in room 0.01  in building E 1.7 (MMCI);



  • Jun 30: Temporal Information Retrieval 2 (tentative)
  • Jul 4: Tutorial 5
JSDiscuss/present solutions for Assignment 5
  • Jul 7: Social Media 
PDFVSPapers from slides, Assignment 6 handed out PDF (due: 14.07.2016)
  • Jul 14: Learning to rank
  • Jul 18: Tutorial 6
VSDiscuss/present solutions for Assignment 6
  • Jul 21: QA


  • Jul 25: QA


  • Jul 28: Oral Exam

Course Contents

The focus of the course includes (a)fundamentals in IR and NLP (two refresher lectures on IR ), (b)annotating and making use of semantic annotations in IR (e.g., named entities, temporal expressions, or geographic references), (c)mining and organizing text, news documents, and social media data and (d) learning to rank documents based on many features. The course will mostly be based on research papers from the last five years published in conferences such as SIGIR, WSDM, WWW, and CIKM, some of which students will have to read for a deeper understanding.


Prior knowledge in Information Retrieval is expected. You should have successfully participated in the core course Information Retrieval & Data Mining or an equivalent course.

Project Assigment

Assignments will contain both, programming and non-programming tasks. More details about the procedure and grading will follow soon.

Grading and Requirements for Passing the Course

To pass the course and earn 6 credit points, the following is required:

  • Complete the assignments
  • Pass the oral exam

Suggested Reading

The following textbooks will be used:

  • Stefan Büttcher, Charles Clarke, Gordom Comarck: Information Retrieval 
  • Chris Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, Hinrich Schütze: Introduction to Information Retrieval 
  • R. Baeza-Yates, R. Ribeiro-Neto. Modern Information Retrieval: The concepts and technology behind search, Addison-Wesley, 2010.