Prof. Dr. Felix Naumann

Information Retrieval and Web Search

Lecturer: Dr. Ralf Krestel

Assistant: Julian Risch

The lecture takes place on Mondays, 11:00 to 12:30, and Wednesdays, 11:00 to 12:30, in G-E 15/16 on Campus III. Approximately after each two lectures there will be one exercise session.

This course will be offered in English!

Course Description

Finding Information is a key component in many applications: from recommending products on e-commerce platforms to diagnose cancer cells. Historically, information retrieval is tightly coupled with libraries. With the advent of computers and subsequently the internet, web retrieval and text search engines became the most prominent information retrieval domain.

In this course, we want to look at basic information retrieval concepts: indexing, retrieval models, querying, interfaces, evaluation. Further, we will have a look at current research trends focusing around machine learning to improve search. And finally, we look at web search, specifically at performance, crawling, link analysis, and social search.


  • 30% Software Project (Teams of size two)
  • 70% Final Exam
  • Requirement for participation in the final exam is to reach 70% of the points in 7 out of the 8 homework assignments and at least 50% in the remaining one.
  • The homework assignments should be worked on in the same teams of size two.


The slides and assignments can be found in the internal area. The submission system can be found here. Choose a newspaper here.


Date Topic
16.10.17 Introduction, Architecture STARTS AFTER LIZ BLACKBURN'S TALK (~11:15-11:30)
18.10.17 Basics
23.10.17 Text Aquisition
25.10.17 Exercise1
30.10.17 Text Transformation
01.11.17 Index Creation
06.11.17 Exercise 2
08.11.17 Retrieval Models I
13.11.17 Retrieval Models II
15.11.17 Exercise 3
20.11.17 User Interaction I
22.11.17 User Interaction II
27.11.17 Exercise 4
29.11.17 Evaluation
04.12.17 Document Organization
06.12.17 Exercise 5
11.12.17 Learning to Rank
13.12.17 Topic Models
18.12.17 Distributed Representation
20.12.17 Exercise 6
25.12.17 Holiday
27.12.17 Holiday
01.01.18 Holiday
03.01.18 Holiday
08.01.18 Web Search
10.01.18 Performance
15.01.18 Exercise 7
17.01.18 Link Analysis
22.01.18 Social Search
24.01.18 Exercise 8
29.01.18 Personalization
31.01.18 Multimedia IR
05.02.18 Exercise 9
07.02.18 Software Project Evaluation
13.02.18 Exam in HS 3 from 10:00 to 11:00


  • Search Engines: Information Retrieval in Practice by W. Bruce Croft, Donald Metzler, and Trevor Strohman
  • Information Retrieval: Implementing and Evaluating Search Engines by Stefan Büttcher, Charles L. A. Clarke, and Gordon V. Cormack
  • Modern Information Retrieval by Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto
  • An Introduction to Information Retrieval by Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan, and Hinrich Schütze