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london information retrieval meetup

London Information Retrieval Meetup [June 2020]

london information retrieval meetup

After the very warm reception of the first year, the fifth London Information Retrieval Meetup is approaching (23/06/2020) and we are excited to add more details about our speakers and talks!
The event is going to be fully remote (given the COVID-19 situation) and free!



After a short welcome & latest news speech from our Founder Alessandro Benedetti, we will proceed to the first talk.

// first talk

Evaluating Your Learning to Rank Model: Dos and Don’ts in Offline/Online Evaluation

Learning to rank (LTR from now on) is the application of machine learning techniques, typically supervised, in the formulation of ranking models for information retrieval systems.
With LTR becoming more and more popular (Apache Solr supports it from Jan 2017 and Elasticsearch has an Open Source plugin released in 2018), organizations struggle with the problem of how to evaluate the quality of the models they train.

This talk explores all the major points in both Offline and Online evaluation.
Setting up correct infrastructures and processes for a fair and effective evaluation of the trained models is vital for measuring the improvements/regressions of a LTR system.
The talk is intended for:
– Product Owners, Search Managers, Business Owners
– Software Engineers, Data Scientists, and Machine Learning Enthusiast
Expect to learn : 

  • the importance of Offline testing from a business perspective
  • how Offline testing can be done with Open Source libraries
  • how to build a realistic test set from the original data set in input avoiding common mistakes in the process
  • the importance of Online testing from a business perspective
  • A/B testing and Interleaving approaches: details and Pros/ Cons
  • common mistakes and how they can false the obtained results

Join us as we explore real world scenarios and dos and don’ts from the e-commerce industry!

// speakers

Alessandro Benedetti

Founder @ Sease


Alessandro has been involved in designing and developing search-relevant solutions from the early stages of Apache Solr 1.4 and edismax query parser in 2010. Over the years he has worked on various projects aiming to build search solutions able to satisfy the user information needs, often integrating such solutions with machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies.

Anna Ruggero


Anna Ruggero is a software engineer passionate about Information Retrieval and Data Mining.
She loves to find new solutions to problems, suggesting and testing new ideas, especially those that concern the integration of machine learning techniques into information retrieval systems.
Anna came into contact with search engines during her studies falling in love with this world, therefore she decided to investigate this topic further participating to the 12th European Summer School in Information Retrieval and doing her master degree dissertation on Entity Search.
Thanks to this path, she has expanded and improved her knowledges of Java and Python languages, information retrieval systems, clustering and word embeddings.

// second talk

Enterprise Search - How Relevant Is Relevance?

Enterprise search is the outlier in search applications. It has to work effectively with very large collections of un-curated content, often in multiple languages, to meet the requirements of employees who need to make business-critical decisions. 

In this talk, I will outline the challenges of searching enterprise content.  Recent research is revealing a unique pattern of search behavior in which relevance is both very important and yet also irrelevant, and where recall is just as important as precision. This behavior has implications for the use of standard metrics for search performance (especially in the case of federated search across multiple applications) and for the adoption of AI/ML techniques.

// speaker

Martin White


Martin White is an information scientist who has been working with IR systems since 1974. Over the last twenty years at Intranet Focus he has worked on nearly 100 search-based projects, mainly in the pharmaceutical, engineering, legal and NGO sectors. He is the author of four books on enterprise search and has given presentations and workshops in Europe and North America.
He has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield, since 2002, specializing in information management and information retrieval. In the process, he has accumulated a digital library of over 1000 research papers related to enterprise search.

// video
// london information retrieval meetup

Join our Group

Researchers, scientists, and other practitioners in the field of Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Data Science… join us, and let’s create a group of passionate and professionals!


Alessandro Benedetti

Alessandro Benedetti is the founder of Sease Ltd. Senior Search Software Engineer, his focus is on R&D in information retrieval, information extraction, natural language processing, and machine learning.

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