Interested in how an efficient search engine works? Want to know what algorithms are used to rank resulting documents in response to user request? The graduate Computer Science Class 6322 on Information Retrieval answers these questions and addresses key information about the practices and theoretical foundations of organizing on-line documents. This course will introduce students to the principles of information storage and retrieval systems, to methods of building and compressing text indexes, querying and retrieving documents efficiently.

This one semester course provides a strong grounding in the fundamentals of classical and modern IR, Web search/crawling and query expansion. This course is intended to prepare you to design, develop and use information systems. We will explore the practices, issues and theoretical foundations of organizing and analyzing information and information content for the purpose of providing intellectual access to textual and non-textual information resources. You will learn how effective information search and retrieval is interrelated with the organization and description of information to be retrieved. You will also learn to use a set of tools and procedures for organizing information, and will become familiar with the techniques involved in conducting effective searches of print and online information resources. The course also introduces the major types of information retrieval systems, the different theoretical foundations underlying these systems, and the methods and measures that can be used to evaluate them.

These topics will be examined through readings, discussion, hands-on experience using various information retrieval systems, and through exercises designed to help explore the capabilities and utility of different retrieval systems. During this class state-of-the art techniques for building search engines will be covered and each student will gain hands-on experience with programming efficient Web spiders and crawlers as well as up-to-date search engines.

Introduction to Information Retrieval
by Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan and Hinrich Schütze

Cambridge University Press 2008
Data Structures and Algorithms or equivalent; strong programming skills.