SIGDIAL 2018 Special Session on Conversational Approaches to Information Search, Retrieval and Presentation

Event Notification Type: 
Call for Papers
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Lawrence Cavedon
Submission Deadline: 
Sunday, 11 March 2018

SIGDIAL 2018 Special Session on Conversational Approaches to Information Search, Retrieval and Presentation


While information search via modern search engines represents one of the great technology contributions of the past twenty years, complex information search, particularly over unstructured text and non-textual information (e.g., images), poses challenges for speech-only interfaces. In particular, processing long lists of information akin to a list of search results is cognitively demanding and simple rendering of search engine result lists via speech has been shown to be ineffective from a HCI perspective, and it has been suggested that approaches supporting greater interactivity via spoken dialogue present greater promise.

The special session is designed to explore interactive approaches to complex information search, retrieval and presentation, from the perspective of conversational spoken dialogue. Pertinent themes include: effective conversational interaction patterns for servicing complex information search; presentation of complex and voluminous search results via speech; evaluation methodologies and frameworks that combine dialogue and Information Retreival evaluation frameworks; general HCI principles for designing conversational search interfaces. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

+ User intent recognition and search process management.
◦ Approaches to dialog management and dialog state tracking suitable for search
◦ Processing verbose natural language queries / noisy ASR
◦ Query intent disambiguation, clarification, confirmation
◦ Succinct clarification strategies and directed feedback
◦ Interaction patterns for conversational search
+ Search result presentation.
◦ Language generation for appropriate descriptions of search results
◦ Summarisation of long lists of search results from unstructured
◦ Conversational navigation of search results
+ Evaluation.
◦ Building test collections for conversational search evaluation
◦ Frameworks and metrics to measure effectiveness, engagement, and user satisfaction
+ Applications.
◦ Intelligent digital assistants
◦ Proactive search/recommendation
◦ Collaborative search
◦ Search for visually impaired users
◦ Search for low literacy users
◦ Integration with existing technologies


Authors may choose to submit long or short research papers, or position papers.

* Long papers and short papers: Deadline March 11 2018.
Long or short research papers will present original research and go through the regular SIGDIAL peer review process by the general SIGDIAL program committee. These papers will appear in the SIGDIAL 2018 conference proceedings. Long and short research papers must conform to the rules in the SIGDIAL call for papers, and must be submitted by March 11 via the standard SIGdial submission system – on the submission form, indicate this is a submission to the Special Session on Conversational Approaches to Information Search, Retrieval and Presentation.

* Position papers: Deadline April 28 2018.
Position paper will raise challenges, demonstrate/argue for the need for specific new approaches, or showcase ongoing work. Position paper submissions are limited to FOUR pages including references. These will be reviewed by the special session organizers and posted on the special session website. These papers will be presented as lightning talks or posters during the session. Authors will retain the copyright to their work so that they may submit to other venues as their work matures. Position papers are to be submitted by April 28 and emailed directly to

*Session Committee*

Lawrence Cavedon, RMIT University (primary contact)
Hideo Joho, Univerity of Tsukuba
Filip Radlinksi, Google London
Hanna Silen, Google Zurich
Damiano Spina, RMIT University
Johanne Trippas, RMIT University
Jason Williams, Microsoft Research
(further members to be confirmed)