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Distributed Multimedia Information Retrieval: SIGIR 2003 Workshop on Distributed Information Retrieval

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During the last decade companies, governments, and research groups worldwide have directed significant effort towards the creation of sophisticated digital libraries across a variety of disciplines. As digital libraries proliferate, in a variety of media, and from a variety of sources, problems of resource selection and data fusion become major obstacles. Traditional search engines, even very large systems such as Google, are unable to provide access to the “Hidden Web” of information that is only available via digital library search interfaces. Effective, reliable information retrieval also requires the ability to pose multimedia queries across many digital libraries. The answer to a query about the lyrics to a folk song might be text or an audio recording, but few systems today could deliver both data types in response to a single, simple query. Distributed information retrieval addresses issues that arise when people have routine access to thousands of multimedia digital libraries.

The SIGIR 2003 Workshop on Distributed Information Retrieval was held on August 1, 2003, at the University of Toronto, following the SIGIR conference, to provide a venue for the presentation and discussion of recent research on the design and implementation of methods and tools for resource discovery, resource description, resource selection, data fusion, and user interaction. About 25 people attended, including representatives from university and industrial research labs. Participants were encouraged to ask questions during and after presentations, which they did. The formal presentations were followed by a general discussion of the state-of-the-art in distributed information retrieval, with a particular emphasis on what still needs to be done.

This volume includes extended and revised versions of the papers presented in the SIGIR 2003 Workshop in addition to a few invited papers.
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