Information Access Seminar

Finding Things You Can't Read: Interactive Cross-Language Search for Monolingual Users

Friday, September 11, 2009
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Doug Oard
Speech recognition and machine translation techniques are evolving rapidly, creating new opportunities to build systems that can support information seeking in large collections of multilingual and multimedia content. Little is presently known, however, about how people would use such systems to accomplish real tasks. In such circumstances, designers naturally rely on their own judgment to decide how component capabilities should be optimized and how those components should be integrated. Once that's been done, the next step is to put the resulting system in the hands of users in order to learn what they do with it. In this talk, I will describe what we have learned so far from such a process. I'll start with some background on user-centered evaluation for cross-language information retrieval at the Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF). I will then introduce Rosetta, an integrated system that supports search and display of live and archived news feeds in four languages for users who know only English and I'll explain how we have used a formative evaluation process to co-evolve both the design of the system and of the ways in which it can be used. I'll conclude the talk with a few design ideas that build on what we have learned to date.
Douglas Oard is an Associate Processor at the University of Maryland, College Park, with joint appointments in the College of Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He is on sabbatical at Berkeley's School of Information for the Fall 2009 semester. Dr. Oard earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and his research interests center around the use of emerging technologies to support information seeking by end users. His recent work has focused on interactive techniques for cross-language information retrieval, searching conversational media, and support for sense-making in large digital archival collections. Additional information is available at

Last updated:

March 26, 2015