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I had the chance to attend the European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR) 2022 in person this year and I was very excited to go! Not only was I excited about presenting my first full paper and a co-authored paper, but I was also thrilled to attend an international IR conference in person the first time and to meet colleagues in person, which I have only met online before!

The first day I attended a great tutorial by Eugene, Jeremy Pickens and David D. Lewis on “Technology-Assisted Review (TAR) for High Recall Retrieval”. The whole tutorial was very interactive with the audience and there were a lot of great discussions during and after the tutorial about TAR and the use of the method for certain domain-specific IR problems.

The first conference day started with a warm welcome of Krisztian Balog, one of the general co-chairs of ECIR 2022, and the major of Stavanger, where ECIR was held. After that we jumped right into the sessions and on the first day I also got to present our paper “Establishing Strong Baselines for TripClick Health Retrieval”, which I co-authored together with Sebastian Hofstätter, Mete Sertkan, and Allan Hanbury. The poster sessions included great contributions from DoSSIER including “Expert Finding in Legal Community Question Answering” and “Improving BERT-based Query-by-Document Retrieval with Multi-task Optimization”.

On the third day of the conference, it was time for me to present my first full paper “PARM: A Paragraph Aggregation Retrieval Model for Dense Document-to-Document Retrieval” together with Sebastian Hofstätter, Mete Sertkan, Suzan Verberne, and Allan Hanbury. The questions after my presentation were really interesting and showed possible future directions of extending this work. Furthermore both other papers presented in the session on domain-specific IR were engaging and sparked new ideas to think about.

To close the conference, there were two social events where one could explore the stunning nature surrounding us in Stavanger: the fjord cruise and a hike to Pulpit Rock. Krisztian Balog accompanied me and some of the conference attendees on the hike and we were rewarded not only with exciting discussions on the hike up, but with a breath taking (maybe we were also exhausted) view from Pulpit Rock down in the Fjords!

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860721