Design of Experimental Search & Information REtrieval Systems

30 and 31 August 2022, San Jose, California, USA


DESIRES needs to be done in presence to favor participation and discussion!

DESIRES speakers need to present in person and not online.

Anyhow, if there are particular health conditions or VISA issues, the speakers can present online.

Key facts

DESIRES is a biennial systems-oriented conference emphasizing the innovative technological aspects of search and retrieval systems.

DESIRES gathers researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry to discuss the latest innovative and visionary ideas in the field.

DESIRES mainly encourages papers about innovative and risky information access and retrieval system ideas, systems-building experience and insight, resourceful experimental studies, provocative position statements, and new application domains.

DESIRES is a single-track conference.

DESIRES complies with the following code of conduct: Python Community Code of Conduct.


Speaker 1

Yi Zhang

Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, UC Santa Cruz

Yi Zhang (UC Santa Cruz, USA)

Title: Democratization of the development of Conversational IR virtual assistants

Conversational virtual assistants, including those for search and recommendations, are becoming increasingly important in the IR field and are being launched by companies in production. To provide the best performance and user experience for conversational IR virtual assistants, responsibility for the development and delivery of conversational IR virtual assistants needs to be “democratized”, growing from the IR/AI/IT team to designer, business oriented interdisciplinary teams or even every one. Dr. Yi Zhang will introduce her research and engineering practice in this direction, and discuss the future for democratization of the development of conversational IR virtual assistants.

Speaker 1

Nadia Fawaz

Tech Lead Inclusive AI at Pinterest, USA

Nadia Fawaz (Pinterest, USA)

Inclusive Search and Recommendations


To truly bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love, Pinterest is committed to content diversity and to developing inclusive search and recommendation engines. A top request we hear from Pinners is that they want to feel represented in the product. This is why we built the skin tone range and hair pattern technologies. These machine learning technologies are paving the way for more inclusive inspirations in Search and our augmented reality technology Try-On, and driving advances for more diverse recommendations across the platform.

Developing inclusive AI in production requires an iterative and collaborative approach. We have learned the importance of building inclusive systems by design, of measuring to make progress, and of leveraging both artificial and human intelligence. We recognize that these challenges are multi-disciplinary, not just technical.

Speaker 1

Jan Pedersen

VP Search and Personalization Technologies, Walmart Global Technology Group

Jan Pedersen (Walmart Global Technology Group, USA)

Title: Product Search at Walmart

The modern, digital-first, retail experience provides consumers access to a potentially limitless inventory of goods. In this marketplace, search plays the role of matchmaker, connecting consumers’ interests, expressed as free-text queries, with relevant items from a large product catalog, and hence is integral to the experience. We refer to this specific search application as Product Search, to distinguish it from say Web Search or Map Search. Product Search operates over semi-structured data, the product catalog, and is generally restricted to transactional intents. Within this scope there are a variety of challenges, such as data enhancement, query understanding, semantic search and cold start issues. In this talk I will survey some of the approaches taken to address these problems at Walmart Search.


All the events will take place in San Jose, CA, USA.


Welcome and Opening


Keynote: Jan Pedersen, Walmart Global Technology Group

Products Search at Walmart


Coffee Break


User Interaction

Chair: Gianmaria Silvello

Dima El Zein, Arthur Câmara and Célia da Costa Pereira.

RULK: A Framework for Representing User Knowledge in Search-as-Learning [Full paper]

Abhishek Kaushik and Gareth Jones.

Comparing User Experience in Search Interaction for Conversational and Conventional Search Systems using Implicit Evaluation Methods [Prototype]




Embeddings and Neural Search in IR (panel)

Chair: Omar Alonso

Baldo Feita, Adobe

Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow

Bing Yin, Amazon

Yang Ye, Apple



Chair: Omar Alonso

Joel Mackenzie, Matthias Petri and Luke Gallagher.

IOQP: A simple Impact-Ordered Query Processor written in Rust [Full paper]

Guido Zuccon.

Pretrained Language Models Rankers on Private Data: Is Online and Federated Learning the Solution? [Open-problem]


Coffee Break


Keynote: Yi Zhang, UC Santa Cruz

Democratization of the development of Conversational IR virtual assistants


Keynote: Nadia Fawaz, Pinterest

Inclusive Search and Recommendations


Coffee Break



Chair: TBA

Thales Sales Almeida, Thiago Laitz, João Seródio, Luiz Henrique Bonifacio, Roberto Lotufo and Rodrigo Nogueira.

NeuralSearchX: Serving a Multi-billion-parameter Reranker for Multilingual Metasearch at a Low Cost [Full paper]

Suraj Nair, Eugene Yang, Dawn Lawrie, James Mayfield and Douglas Oard.

Learning a Sparse Representation Model for Neural CLIR [Full paper]

Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio, Federica Vezzani and Tiziana Sicilia.

T4TEC: A Prototype for Simplified Multilingual Technical Communication. [Abstract]




Bridging IR Metrics and Business Metrics in Search and Recommendations (panel)

Chair: Tracy King

Andy Edmonds, Quora

Nikos Vlassis, Adobe

Vamsi Salaka, Amazon


Prototypes: Looking into the future

Chair: TBA

Chris Kamphuis, Faegheh Hasibi, Jimmy Lin and Arjen de Vries.

REBL: Entity Linking at Scale [Prototype]

Monica Lestari Paramita, Maria Kasinidou, Styliani Kleanthous and Frank Hopfgartner.

BASE: a Bias-Aware news Search Engine for improving user awareness [Prototype]


Coffee Break


Business Meeting and closing


San Jose, California, USA

4 N. 2nd Street in downtown San Jose


We have a number of reserved rooms for DESIRES participants at the Whyhotel by Placemakr San Jose. It is a two block walk from campus.

  • Reservations Due Date: August 15, 2022
  • Stay Dates: Aug 30 – 31, 2022


  • Jr 1-Bedroom/Studio @ $189 + tax per night
  • 1-Bedroom Suite @ $199 + tax per night
  • 2-Bedroom Suite @$289 + tax per night


The registration fee is 200$

Register Now


General Chairs

Omar Alonso (Amazon, USA)
Ricardo Baeza-Yates (Institute for Experiential AI, Northeastern University, USA)
Tracy Holloway King (Adobe, USA)
Gianmaria Silvello (University of Padua, Italy)

Advisory Board

Maristella Agosti (University of Padua, Italy)
Ricardo Baeza-Yates (NTENT, USA; UPF, Spain; Univ. de Chile)
Bruce Croft (University of Massachusetts, USA)
J. Shane Culpepper (RMIT University, Australia)
Susan Dumais (Microsoft, USA)
Norbert Fuhr (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
Donna Harman (NIST, USA)
Kalervo Jarvelin (University of Tampere, Finland)
Jan Pedersen (eBay, USA)
Gerhard Weikum (MPI, Germany)

Program Committee

Krisztian Balog (University of Stavanger, Norway)
B. Barla Cambazoglu (RMIT University, Australia)
Arjen de Vries (Radboud University, The Netherlands)
Laura Dietz (University of New Hampshire, USA)
Fernando Diaz (Google, USA)
Nicola Ferro (University of Padua, Italy)
Evgeniy Gabrilovich (Google, USA)
Claudia Hauff (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Panos Ipeirotis (New York University, USA)
Hideo Joho (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Vasileios Kandylas (Microsoft, USA)
Emre Kiciman (Microsoft, USA)
Jaap Kamps (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Vasileios Kandylas (Microsoft, USA)
Matthew Lease (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Jimmy Lin (university of Waterloo, Canada)
Donald Metzler (Google, USA)
Stefano Mizzaro (University of Udine, Italy)
Yashar Moshfeghi (University of Strathclyde, UK)
Josiane Mothe (Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse, France)
Isabelle Moulinier (Thomson-Reuters, USA)
Ahmed Mourad (The University of Queensland, Australia)
Smruthi Mukund (Twitter, USA)
Jeremy Pickens (Opentext, USA)
Martin Potthast (Leipzig University, Germany)
Tony Russell-Rose (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
Tetsuya Sakai (Waseda University, Japan)
Ian Soboroff (NIST, USA)
Damiano Spina (RMIT University, Australia)
Paul Thomas (Microsoft, USA)
Andrew Trotman (University of Otago, Australia)
Olivier Van Laere (Apple Inc., USA)
Wouter Weerkamp (TomTom, USA)
Cong Yu (Google, USA)
Hamed Zamani (University of Massachusetts, USA)

Inclusion Chair

Maria Maistro (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Organization Chair

Valerie Cruz (Northeastern University, USA)

Gold sponsor

Silver sponsors

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