CIKM 2015, an industrial view

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I was lucky to attend CIKM this year. This was the first research conference I went to since I defended my thesis, as well the first conference to attend under a non-academic affiliation. Besides giving an invited talk on things we do at Cxense right now presenting a paper on things I did at Yahoo! Labs a few years ago at the LSDS-IR workshop, meeting old colleagues and friends, I was highly interested in attending as many presentations I could. Especially, I was interested in the keynotes and industrial presentations, which there were many of. Here some of my favorites.

For the keynotes, Jaime Teevan held an exciting speech about so-called slow search, that is using more time for a better search experience; Xiaofang Zhou gave an interesting talk about mining in massive spatial trajectory datasets, some of its challenges and opportunities; and Andrew Tomkins held a mindblowing presentation about people making choice among several alternatives. Among these, I specially enjoyed Jaime’s talk for all the insightful examples, case studies and jokes.

Among the industry talks, I deeply enjoyed the Telecom data-mining talk held by Amy Shi-Nash about all the exciting work they do together with SingTel, Sofus Macskassy’s presentation about machine learning at Facebook and Wei-Ying Ma’s demonstration of the techniques used to build Xiaoice, the advanced chat-bot developed by Microsoft and becoming extremely popular in China these days.

After the conference, I had a short visit to Sydney and spent a week working at the Melbourne office of Cxense and bonding with my Australian colleagues, before heading back to my family in Norway. Overall, this was a nice trip, which I enjoyed pretty much despite a week of ten-hour jetlag and all the hustle.

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