George Mason University

Department of Information Systems and Systems Engineering

INFS 623: Classical and Web Information Retrieval

Fall 2010 --- Prof. Ami Motro

The need to locate information efficiently on the World-Wide-Web has moved the traditional field of information retrieval (previously confined to applications such as document retrieval from library collections) to the center of the stage. This is demonstrated by the simple fact that these days nearly everyone uses Internet search engines and is thus familiar with previously obscure IR concepts such keywords, relevance, ranking, search refinement, etc. This graduate course is an introduction to the area of information retrieval. This course has been revised and now covers principles of both Classical information retrieval (e.g., the Boolean and vector space model, document indexing, ranking, effectiveness measurement) and Modern information retrieval (e.g., hypertext documents, Internet search engines, Web crawling, link analysis).

Roughly speaking, the subject of INFS-623 is complemetary to the subject of a database management course, such as INFS-614: Database Management, or INFS-760: Advanced Database Management. Whereas database management is concerned mainly with storage and retrieval of structured information, information retrieval is concerned mainly with storage and retrieval of unstructured information, such as documents and World-Wide-Web pages.


The foundation courses: SWE-510: Object-oriented Programming, INFS 501: Discrete and Logical Structures, INFS 515: Computer Organization, INFS 590: Program Design and Data Structures. Note: prerequisites are strictly enforced!


Two exams and five homework assignments (approximate weights are indicated in parenthesis):

  1. Homework assignments (30%)
  2. Midterm exam (30%)
  3. Final exam (40%)

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


Dr. Ami Motro
Office: S&T2-455, Telephone: 993-1665
Office hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 3:00-4:00

Teaching Assistant



Wednesday 4:30-7:10, IN-136