Information Retrieval


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Course Description

Information retrieval has long been a subject that interested a small group of computer scientists, information scientists as well as some librarians. Naturally these groups do not have the same perspective of the subject. This course aims to balance the computer science and librarian perspective of information retrieval.

Information retrieval has long been confined to building application to retrieve extracts from a predefined stock of content. With the rise of the web, information retrieval issues on the web have started to attract a lot of interest. This course aims to give a balanced overview of issues that arise in tradition information retrieval and web-based systems.

Course objectives

After completing the course, students will be able to


Students should be familiar with elementary symbolic algebra.


There are two texts used in several lectures.

Korfhage, Robert R., "Information Storage and Retrieval", published by John Wiley & Sons, 1997

This book will be referred to as RRK throughout the course documentation. Baeza-Yates, Ricardo and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto "Modern Information Retrieval", ACM Press 1999.

This book will be referred to as BYRN throughout the course documentation. Students should not read that book unless specifically requested by the instructor.

Other papers used

Brin, Sergey and Page, Lawrence (1998) " The anatomy of a Large-Scale Hyertextual Search Engine"

Class structure

Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 14:00 and 15:20 in the computer lab.

date topic reading assignment
01 1–16 introduction of course participants
02 1–18 introduction to the topic RRK 1–13
03 1–23 retrieval on the web web retrieval exercise
04 1–25 user interfaces BYRN ch. 10
04 1–30 search engines Brin and Page user interfac
06 2–01 sofix
07 2–6 creating well formed XML miniexam
08 2–8 data input session I
09 2–13 XML applications application description
10 2–15 data input session II
00 2–20 no class
11 2–22 creating valid XML
12 2–27 displaying XML sofix file
13 3–01 revision class
14 3–06 mid-term exam
15 3–08 introduction to datasbases
16 3–13 table operations style sheet
17 3–20 more table operation
18 3–22 sample queries
19 3–27 tables in MS Access
20 3–27 more on MS Access


Class discussion and activities form an important part of this course. Missing more than two classes without the approval of the instructor will result in lowering the grade for the course by one grade.

Handed-in exercises have to be handed in the Tuesday class. Each day of delay reduces the mark by one grade.

For both handed-in assignment only the three out of five that have the best marks will count. For the mini exams, only the three that have the best marks will count. Everybody is allowed to have a bad day.

The final grade will be composed as follows

item weight
mini exams 25%
exercises 25%
mid-term exam 25%
final exam 25%


Thomas Krichel
Room 330
B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library
The Palmer School of Library and Information Science
C.W. Post Campus
Long Island University
720 Northern Boulevard, Brookville, New York 11548–1300
work phone: +1–(516)299–2843

Private contact details may be obtained from the online CV.

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