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Jaap Kamps <[log in to unmask]>
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Jaap Kamps <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 Sep 2012 21:27:10 +0200
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WSDM 2013 Workshop: Search and Exploration of X-Rated Information (SEXI 
Rome, Italy, February 5, 2013
email: [log in to unmask]

Important Dates:
Submission deadline: Friday, November 30, 2012
Acceptance notification:  Monday, December 17, 2012



Adult content is pervasive on the Web, has been a driving factor in the 
adoption of the Internet medium, and is responsible for a significant 
fraction of traffic and revenues, yet rarely attracts attention in 
research.  The scientific community has spent considerable energy 
studying user-generated content and information access on the Web, to 
the exclusion of adult content.  This is understandable, as the topic is 
distasteful to some, and requires special legal and ethical 
considerations when asking employees, contractors and students to 
analyze and process the data.

Furthermore, the methods that work for other types of information access 
behavior are assumed to work for all types of content, including adult 
content.  We propose that this is an incorrect assumption.  In fact, 
even core concepts such as relevance and diversity, which are 
fundamental to any application involving information seeking and access, 
are defined differently for adult content.

Beyond effectively presenting adult content when a person is searching 
for it, it is not always clear whether a query refers to adult content, 
as many common terms are used euphemistically to refer to adult content. 
  It is extremely important for a search engine to understand this 
before serving adult content to a person who is not expecting it.

We propose that the research questions surrounding adult content access 
behaviors are unique, and we believe interesting and valuable research 
in this area can be done ethically.

We seek a greater understanding of the particular issues in accessing 
adult content, especially user-generated adult content on the Web. The 
focus of the workshop will be to put this area of research on the 
agenda, and explore the basic research questions that should be 
addressed in the field, the types of data needed for research, and the 
barriers to doing research this area.


Due to the lack of attention to this area of research there are many 
open questions.  These questions include but are not limited to:

CLASSIFICATION:  Even researchers and search applications not interested 
in adult content will have to deal with it in order to avoid 
it---presenting adult content to innocuous searchers is clearly a 
massive failure both for the individual searcher as well as for the 
reputation of the service.  What are automatic methods for identifying 
adult content, in particular adult user-generated content?  How can we 
identify adult content in video, images, and text?  What is the best way 
to identify adult query intent, and deal with ambiguous requests?  What 
are the appropriate ad placement strategies in adult content?

ACCESS:  Access to adult content seems to require a different approach 
than the ubiquitous navigation search---with searchers exhibiting an 
exploratory information seeking behavior, characterized by a diverse set 
of relevance criteria.  How should adult content be ranked?  How should 
search, exploration, and recommendation be balanced?  How does searching 
adult content relate to search on adult chat sites and social networks? 
  Is there a benefit to personalizing adult content?

EVALUATION:  Given the distinct nature of adult content and the diverse 
relevance criteria, appropriate evaluation is crucial.   What is a 
relevant result, and what are suitable metrics for relevance?  Is adult 
content a recall-oriented, or precision-oriented task?  What is the 
right level of evaluation---individual requests or whole search 
sessions?  What is similarity and diversity in adult content?  How 
important is the avoidance of failure, relative to success?  Are 
searchers for adult content more tolerant of non-relevant results?  Are 
there general lessons for other types of search and retrieval to be 
learnt from understanding search for adult content better?

ETHICS:  What are the ethical issues in working with adult content in an 
academic environment?  What are the ethical implications for the search 
industry, given that it partly facilitates the online adult industry? 
How can adult material be made available so as to promote responsible 
behavior through the whole chain from production to consumption?  Is 
adult user-generated content more ethical than professionally produced 

We limit our discussion to adult content that is legal.  Topics such as 
identifying online predators, child pornography, or human trafficking 
are out of the scope of this workshop.  Although these are important 
issues, they represent a separate set of research questions.

The outcome will be to define a set of research areas, to elucidate the 
special issues surrounding the access of (user-generated) adult content. 
   We will discuss a set of best-practices for working with this data in 
an academic environment, and propose a research agenda for the near 
future.  The results of the workshop will have the form of a jointly 
authored report to be published in SIGIR Forum.

Presentations in the workshop itself will not include examples of adult 
content, images or video.



We solicit short (2-page) position papers, and longer (8-page) research 

Position papers identify an issue or problem related to adult 
information access, and outline a possible resolution or approach to 
address an issue.

Research papers present academic research in areas within the scope of 
the workshop.

Papers should not include examples of adult content.  Workshop 
presentations will be vetted to exclude examples of adult content.

Please submit your position and research papers to the conference system 
at by Friday, 
November 30, 2012.



Vanessa Murdock
Charles L. A. Clarke, Waterloo University
Jaap Kamps, University of Amsterdam
Jussi Karlgren, Gavagai Stockholm

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