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SEXI 2013 : WSDM 2013 Workshop: Search and Exploration of X-Rated Information


When Feb 5, 2013 - Feb 5, 2013
Where Rome, Italy
Submission Deadline Nov 30, 2012
Categories    data mining

Call For Papers

Adult content is pervasive on the Web, has been a driving factor in the adoption of the Internet medium, and is responsible for a significant fraction of traffic and revenues, yet rarely attracts attention in research. The scientific community has spent considerable energy studying user-generated content and information access on the Web, to the exclusion of adult content. This is understandable, as the topic is distasteful to some, and requires special legal and ethical considerations when asking employees, contractors and students to analyze and process the data.

Furthermore, the methods that work for other types of information access behavior are assumed to work for all types of content, including adult content. We propose that this is an incorrect assumption. In fact, even core concepts such as relevance and diversity, which are fundamental to any application involving information seeking and access, are defined differently for adult content. Beyond effectively presenting adult content when a person is searching for it, it is not always clear whether a query refers to adult content, as many common terms are used euphemistically. It is extremely important for a search engine to understand this before serving such content to a person who is not expecting it.

We propose that the research questions surrounding adult content access behaviors are unique, and we believe interesting and valuable research in this area can be done ethically.

We seek a greater understanding of the particular issues in accessing adult content on the Web. The focus of the workshop will be to put this area of research on the agenda, and explore the basic research questions that should be addressed in the field, the types of data needed for research, and the barriers to doing research this area. Due to the lack of attention to this area of research there are many open questions.

CLASSIFICATION Even researchers and search applications not interested in adult content will have to deal with it in order to avoid it—presenting adult content to innocuous searchers is clearly a massive failure both for the individual searcher as well as for the reputation of the service. What are automatic methods for identifying adult content, in particular adult user-generated content? How can we identify adult content in video, images, and text? What is the best way to identify adult query intent, and deal with ambiguous requests? What are the appropriate ad placement strategies in adult content?

ACCESS Access to adult content seems to require a different approach than the ubiquitous navigation search—with searchers exhibiting an exploratory information seeking behavior, characterized by a diverse set of relevance criteria. How should adult content be ranked? How should search, exploration, and recommendation be balanced? How does searching adult content relate to search on adult chat sites and social networks? Is there a benefit to personalizing adult content?

EVALUATION Given the distinct nature of adult content and the diverse relevance criteria, appropriate evaluation is crucial. What is a relevant result, and what are suitable metrics for relevance? Is adult content a recall-oriented, or precision-oriented task? What is the right level of evaluation—individual requests or whole search sessions? What is similarity and diversity in adult content? How important is the avoidance of failure, relative to success? Are searchers for adult content more tolerant of non-relevant results?

ETHICS What are the ethical issues in working with adult content in an academic environment? What are the ethical implications for the search industry, given that it partly facilitates the online adult industry? How can adult material be made available so as to promote responsible behavior through the whole chain from production to consumption? Is adult user-generated content more ethical than professionally produced media?

We limit our discussion to legal adult content. Topics such as identifying online predators, child pornography, or human trafficking are out of the scope of this workshop. Although these are important issues, they represent a separate set of research questions.

The outcome will be to define a set of research areas to elucidate the special issues surrounding the access of adult content. We will discuss a set of best-practices for working with this data in an academic environment, and propose a research agenda for the near future. The results of the workshop will have the form of a jointly authored report to be published in SIGIR Forum.

Presentations in the workshop itself will not include examples of adult content, images or video.

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