Call for Papers

Special issue on Query Log Analysis: Technology & Ethics

ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB)


Einat Amitay, IBM Research, Haifa Lab, Israel, e-mail : [log in to unmask]

Andrei Broder, Yahoo! Research, USA, e-mail: [log in to unmask]

The complete records of queries received by web search engines (Query Logs
or QLs) are the fundamental evidence of their audience search goals and the
engines’ ability to provide satisfactory answers.  QLs include information
such as queries submitted,  reformulations,  session boundaries, results
actually explored (click through data), time spent reading each result, and
so on. Commercial search engines use QL analysis to extract patterns of
individual and collective behavior and use this feedback for improving
search performance and accuracy. At the same time, the queries made by a
particular individual often reflect their current interests and
preoccupation and reveal a surprising amount of highly personal
information. Hence the use of QLs raises issues of privacy and data
ownership, which in turn gives rise to technical problems of QL
anonymization and data security and legal and ethical problems regarding
the use and retention of QLs.

This special issue of ACM Transactions on the Web aims to gather a
collection of high quality contributions that reflect both technical and
non-technical issues related to QL analysis.

Particular areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Search & Ranking:  Use of QLs for – ranking; query refinement and
expansion; behavior prediction; implicit collaborative filtering; targeted
advertising; document expansion; document clustering; metadata creation;

Data mining & prediction:  QL trend extraction; “Buzz” mining; Product
performance prediction; Correlation of QL data with external events;
Patterns of information-seeking & interaction behaviors observed in QLs;

Performance & Evaluation:   Query caching based on QL patterns; Sampling
QLs; QL-based search quality evaluation; QL-based models of relevance;

Privacy & Policy: QL anonymization; Privacy preserving tools (e.g. query
blocking, masking and obfuscation); Privacy preserving QLs analysis.
Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues in QL collection and use; Practical
policies and practices of query logging; QL data retention issues.

Prospective authors, please submit your paper according to the directions
on the ACM TWEB Web site following the content and formatting guidelines
available at http://www.acm.org/tweb/author.html .  There you can also find
detailed information about  the ACM TWEB review process.  When submitting
your paper, please mention that it is to be considered for the special
issue on Query Log Analysis: Technology & Ethics.  In addition, please send
a copy of your paper to [log in to unmask]


Papers Due: December 17, 2007
Author notification: March 31, 2008
Revised versions of accepted papers due: June 16, 2008 (all accepted papers
expected to undergo minor set of revisions)
Camera-ready copies due: August 1, 2008:
Issue published; November 2008