CONTINT - Contenus et Interactions

Online Content Knowledge Triage: Optimizing the Productivity of User Search – OCKTOPUS

Submission summary

Over the past 15 years, along with the success of the “social” web, online communities have progressively produced massive amounts of user-generated content collaboratively.

While some of these communities are highly structured and produce high-quality content (e.g., open-source software, Wikipedia), the level of discussions found within less structured forums remains highly variable. Coupled with their explosive growth, the lower quality of online forums makes it hard to retrieve relevant and valuable answers to user search queries, and subsequently diminishes the social and economic value of this content.

The objective of OCKTOPUS is to increase the potential social and economic benefit of the large and quickly growing amounts of user-generated content, by transforming it into useful knowledge. We believe that it is possible to considerably improve upon existing generic Information Retrieval techniques by exploiting the specific structure of this content and of the online communities which produce it.

Specifically, we will focus on a multi-disciplinary approach in order to address the problem of finding relevant answers to questions within forums and question-answer sites. To create metrics and predictors of content quality and use them to improve the search experience of a user, we will:

- take advantage of the experience of the CRG (the management research institute of Ecole Polytechnique and CNRS) to understand better the incentives of, and interactions between individuals who produce online content within large communities;

- take advantage of the experience of the Edelweiss research team from INRIA (the French national research institute in computer science) to analyze the structural and temporal aspects of the complex typed social graphs found within these communities;

- take advantage of the ability of Alcméon (a start-up developing a search application dedicated to user-generated content) to integrate and test the results of OCKTOPUS within a common demonstration framework, in order to assess their practical usefulness when applied to concrete large-scale datasets.

We believe that this approach will maximize the scientific, economic and social impact of OCKTOPUS by giving high visibility to the research results produced by our academic partners, and by providing a direct route to transfer these results to the internet marketplace through Alcméon’s commercial products.

Project coordination

Mathieu LACAGE (Alcméon SAS) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Alcméon SAS
INRIA Sophia Antipolis Mediterranée Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique

Help of the ANR 511,270 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2012 - 36 Months

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