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Information Retrieval and Organisation

Short name: IRO
SITS code: COIY064H7
Credits: 15 credits
Level: 7
Module leader: Dell Zhang
Lecturer(s): Dell Zhang

Module outline

Due to the explosive growth of digital information in recent years, modern Information Retrieval (IR) systems such as search engines have become more and more important in almost everyone's work and life (e.g. see the phenomenal rise of Google). IR research and development are one of the hottest research areas in academia as well as industry. This module will convey the basic principles of modern IR systems to students.


The aim of this module is to introduce modern Information Retrieval (IR) concepts and techniques, from basic text indexing to advanced text mining and Web IR. Both theoretical and practical aspects of IR systems will be presented and the most recent issues in the field of IR will be discussed. This will give students an insight into how modern search engines work and are developed.


  • Boolean Retrieval
  • The Term Vocabulary and Postings Lists
  • Dictionaries and Tolerant Retrieval
  • Index Construction and Compression
  • Scoring, Term Weighting and the Vector Space Model
  • Computing Scores in A Complete Search System
  • Evaluation in Information Retrieval, Relevance Feedback and Query Expansion
  • Probabilistic Information Retrieval
  • Language Models for Information Retrieval
  • Text Classification, Naive Bayes and Vector Space Classification
  • Flat and Hierarchical Clustering
  • Advanced Topics in IR




All dates and timetables are listed in the programme handbooks of individual programmes.


The coursework includes two assignments.


Coursework (20%). Examination (80%).

Recommended reading

Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan and Hinrich Schutze, Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0521865719.