Lecture 15: Information Retrieval

Title slide

Slides : Music

Following the rectangular tables of relational databases and the triangular trees of semistructured data, the remaining Inf1-DA lectures will address the representation and analysis of more unstructured data. Today’s lecture provided a brief introduction to the classic information retrieval task of searching a large collection of documents to find those that match a simple query.

The focus here is not on specific algorithms or data representations, but on specifying the problem, how to recognise when you have a solution, and how to rate the performance of different competing solutions. In this case that means distinguishing between precision and recall in information retrieval; considering how each might be important in different problem domains; and the use of blends like the F-score to combine both measures.

The lecture finished with material on IBM’s Watson system using all kinds of data and analysis, including information retrieval, to perform question-answering on Jeopardy!.

University server disconnection today means that Panopto did not record the lecture; and there are also no recordings of this specific topic from previous years. My apologies. Instead I can offer the following:

  • The videos of IBM Watson used in the lecture.

  • Bix Beiderbecke performing Sorry which was, coincidentally, today’s opening music.

Links: Slides for Lecture 15

Watch These

What is Watson? The Science Behind an Answer

IBM Watson and Cancer Treatment Recommendations

Read These

IBM Watson Cognitive Cooking Fact Sheet

Watson in the Wild: March 5th 2015


These and more IBM Watson videos are available on the Inf1-DA 2017 IBM Watson YouTube playlist.

Cognitive Cookery

Say what foods you like and name some ingredients: Chef Watson will invent a recipe just for you: https://www.ibmchefwatson.com

Picture of the Cognitive Cooking Truck

Read what New Scientist reviewers thought about it (“occasionally inspired”; “one recipe called for precisely 554 juniper berries”). You can even buy the book.
Book Cover: Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson