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Seminar this week - System-mediated & User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)

Chirag Shah from University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill presented a talk entitled.

System-mediated and User-mediated Collaborative Information Seeking (CIS)


Information seeking is typically seen as a single person activity, done in isolation without the support of other people. It is time we revise this assumption and acknowledge that seeking and using information can be a social activity, done in collaboration with others. Many situations call for such collaboration while seeking information. For instance, a couple planning a vacation have the same information need, but may have different expertise and opinions about how, where, and what aspects of the trip. In most such situations, we end up using different tools, such as browser, messenger, email, etc., in ad hoc manner to accomplish the common goal. Integrated solutions that not only provide the support for such activities seamlessly, but also encourage and facilitate collaborations in impromptu fashion are highly desired. In this talk I will present two different views of doing this - system-mediated collaboration, and user-mediated collaboration. The former can be facilitated using different algorithms working in the back-end, and the latter can be achieved by providing interface level support where the users can decide how they want to divide the task and share the information.

Charag is a doctoral candidate at School of Information & Library Science (SILS) at University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. He received his MS in Computer Science from UMass Amherst, where he worked with Bruce Croft and James Allan on high accuracy retrieval, and topic detection and tracking. At UNC, he has been working with Gary Marchionini and Diane Kelly on various issues concerning exploratory information seeking and interactive information retrieval. He has also worked at many world-renowned research laboratories, such as FXPAL in California and National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, Japan. His dissertation is focused on collaborative information seeking. He is also interested in social search and question-answering, digital preservation, and contextual information extraction. He has developed several tools for exploratory information seeking and extraction, including "Coagmento" for collaborative information seeking, and "ContextMiner" for capturing contextual information from multiple online sources.

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