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KARS 2017 : Keyword-based Access and Ranking at Scale, Workshop co-located with EDBT/ICDT 2017


When Mar 21, 2017 - Mar 21, 2017
Where Venice, Italy
Submission Deadline Nov 14, 2016
Notification Due Dec 20, 2016
Final Version Due Jan 15, 2017
Categories    information retrieval

Call For Papers

*** 3rd Call for Papers - KARS 2017: T-10days to deadline ***

Keyword-based Access and Ranking at Scale (KARS 2017) Workshop co-located with EDBT/ICDT 2017

Venice, Italy, 21 March 2017

* Paper submission deadline: November 14, 2016 *


1) Motivation

Keyword search is the foremost approach for searching information and it has been successfully applied for retrieving non-structured documents such as text and multimedia files. Nonetheless, retrieving information from (unstructured or semi-structured) documents is intrinsically different from querying structured data sources with either an explicit schema, as relational databases or triple stores, or an implicit one, as tables in textual documents and on the Web. Consequently this model has left out the structured data sources which are typically accessed through structured queries, e.g. Structured Query Language (SQL) queries over relational databases or SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) queries over Linked Data graphs. Structured queries are not end-user oriented and far away from a natural expression of users' information needs by means of keywords, given that their formulation is based on a quite complex syntax and requires some knowledge about the structure of the data to be queried. Over the past several years, these facts triggered the research community and big data technology vendors to put a lot of effort into developing new approaches for keyword search over structured databases and it is still a primary research and industrial concern.

There are three main issues currently hampering the design and development of next generation systems for keyword search over structured data able to effectively address the needs described above:

(i) the lack of systemic approaches considering all of the issues of keyword search from the formulation and interpretation of the user needs, to the computation, retrieval, ranking and presentation of the results as well as the model by which iterative refinement is supported;
(ii) the wide variety of tasks and domains (product to financial, public-record, health and drugs, scientific publications, hobby-related, and government, …) which keyword search techniques need to address and which require the development of customized specific solutions. This make the design of a “general purpose” keyword search application a complex task;
(iii) the absence of a shared and complete evaluation methodology measuring user satisfaction, achieved utility, both effectiveness and efficiency, as well as required user effort for carrying out informative tasks on keyword-search systems on structured data.

The aim of this multidisciplinary workshop is to bring together researchers from Databases, Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Semantic Web, Human-Computer Interaction, and to combine their perspectives and research to address the above-mentioned issues.
In particular, we wish to encourage researchers to discuss the opportunities, challenges, results obtained in the development and evaluation of “complete”, “ready-to-market” keyword search applications over structured data. We are in particular interested in proposal dealing with systemic approaches which manage all the phases of the keyword search, from the management of the data, query formulation, interpretation, computation, ranking and visualization of the results, as well as rigorous evaluation methodologies for such systems.


2) Topics

We invite papers from researchers and practitioners working in relational databases, XML, RDF, Linked Open Data, information extraction, natural language processing, data warehouses, knowledge bases, and related areas to submit their original papers to this issue. The main topics include but are not limited to:

- Keyword search on large graphs and knowledge bases;
- Keyword search on XML data, RDF data, and Linked Open Data;
- Keyword search on relational databases and data warehouses;
- Keyword search semantics;
- Conversational and spoken queries over structured data;
- Learning to rank approaches for keyword search;
- Integration of keyword search with other kinds of search tasks, e.g. unstructured search, multimedia search, semi-structured search, and more;
- User interaction with keyword search systems;
- Visualizations and user interfaces for keyword search query formulation and result presentation;
- Keyword search for data integration;
- Exploratory search and informative queries over keyword search;
- Web tables extraction and search;
- Highly scalable techniques, algorithms and data structures for keyword search;
- Computational complexity of keyword search algorithms;
- Semantic similarity, management, disambiguation and indexing;
- Ranking schemes;
- Top-K query processing;
- Result snippet generation;
- Result clustering;
- Handling vagueness in users’ information needs;
- Query formulation, suggestion, and expansion;
- Query cleaning;
- User preferences and feedback;
- Handling data uncertainty in keyword search;
- Experimental evaluation: efficiency, effectiveness, effort, time-aware, user models, user satisfaction, and more;
- Shared benchmarks and infrastructures for comparative keyword search evaluation;
- Measures and analysis methods for keyword search evaluation;
- Challenges in application domains of keyword search: product search, government, health and drugs, scientific data and publications, finance, and more.


3) Important Dates

- Workshop paper submission deadline: November 14, 2016
- Workshop paper notification: December 20, 2016
- Workshop paper camera-ready: January 15, 2017
- Workshops: March 21, 2017


4) Submission Instructions

Papers should be formatted according to the ACM SIG Proceedings Template (

Papers should be two-four pages (maximum) in length.

Papers will be peer-reviewed by members of the program committee through single-blind peer review, i.e. authors do not need to be anonymized. Selection will be based on originality, clarity, and technical quality. Papers should be submitted in PDF format to the following address:

Accepted papers will be published online as a volume of the CEUR-WS proceeding series.


5) Organizers:

- Nicola Ferro, University of Padua, Italy
- Francesco Guerra, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
- Zack Ives, University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA
- Gianmaria Silvello, University of Padua, Italy
- Martin Theobald, Ulm University, Germany

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