Dr Dawei Song and Prof. Stefan Rueger have been awarded a significant grant from the EPSRC, placing KMi as the lead university in a three year, £1m research project that aims to change the paradigm of information retrieval on the web.
Their bid, ranked second out of 60 fundable proposals at the recent ICT Prioritisation Panel of the EPSRC outlines the purpose of the project as developing a novel and unified information retrieval theory based on the Quantum Theory framework to address the emerging challenges of context-sensitive and multimodal search.
In short, if you are searching, for example, for Children’s activities in Cambridge, want to see images of the activities and relate the activities for the predicted weather for the period of activity, you cannot currently obtain this information with a single search as you are looking for text and non-text results using text, image and structure based querying.
The hypothesis that this project builds on is that Quantum theory provides innovation and inspiration into circumventing the emerging context and multimodality issues that current IR and search technologies cannot deal with. It will bring new light into IR research and force us to think about the problem from a different but more revolutionary way. This offers tantalizing possibilities and out of the ordinary implications, some of which, if realized, can lead to genuine breakthroughs and frontier technologies.
Working with University of Glasgow and Queen Mary University of London the KMi team will be truly at the forefront in this largely unexplored area of research. Dawei and Stefan fully expect to be challenging current thinking in their bid to create a new paradigm and underlying theory that will shape context-sensitive and multimodal search technologies for the future.