Appel: SIGIR Workshop on Operational Text Classification Systems 2001

alexis nasr alexis.nasr at
Mon May 28 18:02:15 UTC 2001

Call for Participation

Workshop on Operational Text Classification Systems 2001
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
September 13, 2001
otc2001info at

in conjunction with
September 9-13, 2001

Text classification research and practice has exploded in the past decade.
This work has been pursued under a variety of headings (text categorization,
automated indexing, text mining, topic detection and tracking, etc.).   Both
the automated assignment of textual data to classes, and the automated
discovery of such classes (by techniques such as clustering) have been of
intense interest.   A variety of practical applications have been fielded,
in areas such as indexing of documents for retrieval, hierarchical
organization of Web sites, alerting and routing of news, creation of
specialized information products, enforcement of information security,
content filtering (spam, porn, etc.), help desk automation, knowledge
discovery in textual and partially textual databases, and many others.

Experiments on text classification data sets have been widely presented in a
variety of forums.  The technical details of operational text
however, have rarely been discussed.

The goal of this workshop is to expose researchers and practitioners to the
challenges encountered in building and fielding operational text
classification systems. We hope to begin the systematizing of engineering
principles in this area, and spark new directions for research as well.


Workshop topics will include (but are not limited to):

* Cost effectiveness of automating text classification tasks

* Understanding what users want from classification systems

* Technical and personnel issues in using training data and prior knowledge

* Trading off space, time, and other resources in the training, adaptation,
and execution phases of classification

* Integrating automated classification systems with pre-existing software,
organizational procedures, relevant laws, and cultural expectations

* Maintaining and monitoring effectiveness as text sources and classes
change over time

* Discovering, defining, updating, and explaining classes and classifiers

* The roles of classification and related technologies (information
extraction, terminology discovery, etc.)


To facilitate discussion, workshop attendance will be limited to a maximum
of 70 participants. Anyone interested in attending should apply in one of
these two ways:

1. Researchers, practitioners, and users with an interest in text
     **Please submit a paragraph describing your background, organizational
affiliation (if any), and interest in text classification.

2. Prospective speakers with substantial knowledge of one or more
operational text classification systems and an interest in presenting a talk
based on their experience:
     **Please submit both a paragraph of interest (as described above) and
an abstract (maximum 750 words) outlining the major points you would speak
on.  Talks whose focus is experimental results on standard test collections
are discouraged.  Conversely, operational text classification at any scale
from the tiny (e.g. an evaluation of content filtering software for a small
organization) to the huge (e.g. categorizing hundreds of newswires each day)
is of interest.  Selection of talks will be largely based on the speaker's
ability and willingness to discuss technical details of operational systems,
as reflected in their abstract.

Submissions should be sent in ASCII or PDF form to:
                      otc2001submit at
All submissions will be reviewed by the organizers and program committee.
The interest paragraphs and talk proposals of invited participants will be
reproduced and distributed as an informal notebook at the workshop.


Interest paragraphs must be received: June 15, 2001
Talk abstracts must be received: June 15, 2001
Notification of acceptance: July 15, 2001
Workshop: September 13, 2001

Please visit for hotel and registration deadlines.

        David D. Lewis, independent consultant (Chair)
        Susan Dumais, Microsoft
        Ronen Feldman, Clearforest
        Fabrizio Sebastiani, Italian National Council of Research

        James Allan, University of Massachusetts
        David Evans, Clairvoyance
        Sue Feldman, IDC
        Norbert Fuhr, University of Dortmund
        Thorsten Joachims, GMD
        Andras Kornai, Northern Light
        Wai Lam, Chinese University of Hong Kong
        Dunja Mladenic, J. Stefan Institute & Carnegie Mellon Univ.
        Isabelle Moulinier, Thomson
        Christopher Porter, Factiva
        Prabhakar Raghavan, Verity
        Mehran Sahami, E.piphany
        Robert Schapire, AT&T
        Frank Smadja, Elron Software
        Richard Tong, Tarragon Consulting
        Mark Wasson, LexisNexis
        Scott Waterman, Kanisa Inc.
        Yiming Yang, Carnegie Mellon University
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