The ACM SIGIR International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research related to the foundational aspects of Information Retrieval (IR), including, for example, human search processes; search and recommendation; learning and optimization; language and representations; sensory information; artificial intelligence, ethics and responsibility in information retrieval.

The conference explicitly welcomes papers on core IR and any paper on connections between IR and its neighboring disciplines. We welcome experimental and industrial papers that validate approaches from the lens of practical applicability. Such papers should, apart from validating the practical applicability of an existing approach, provide a clear message to the community as to which aspects need further (theoretical) investigation, based on the experimental findings.

Contributions could be

  • theoretical papers that model various phenomena related to IR, and/or between concepts, models and theories,
  • conceptual papers that explore key concepts, new paradigms and new ways of thinking about problems in IR,
  • behavioural papers that explore the behaviour of algorithms (why and how an algorithm works),
  • experimental papers that study theory in experimental or industrial settings.

ICTIR Moment

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Important Dates

Submission Deadlines

Full Papers

Abstracts   April 28, 2018

Paper   May 2, 2018

Short Papers

Abstracts May 1, 2018

Paper May 6, 2018


 April 26, 2018


 May 26, 2018

Notification Date

Full Papers

 June 26, 2018


Short Papers

 June 17, 2018


 May 16, 2018


 June 5, 2018


The topic areas covered by ICTIR include any topic of relevance to core IR and connections between IR and its neighboring disciplines such as:

    IR theory and practice
  • new retrieval problems
  • quantum IR or other non-conventional retrieval models and ranking
    User aspects
  • interactive and dynamic search and recommendation
  • information seeking
  • modelling and simulation of information interaction
  • multimodal search
  • contextual and personalized search
  • queries and query analysis
  • search interfaces
  • session support
    IR system architectures and scalability
  • data structures and algorithms for efficient content representation search,compression, string processing.
    content representation and processing
  • cross-media search
  • word embedding
  • natural language processing for IR
  • multilingual IR
  • linguistic analysis
  • text representation
  • text streams
  • topic models
  • retrieval algorithm behaviour analysis
  • new evaluation measures, mathematical analysis of measures
  • understanding retrieval results
    machine Learning for IR
  • deep learning
  • kernel methods
  • markov decision processes
  • neural networks
  • online learning
  • optimization
  • hyper-parameter and model selection
  • recurrent-networks
  • reinforcement learning
  • statistical and learning algorithms
  • information extraction
  • information fusion
  • legal IR
  • patent search
  • search applied to the internet of things
  • semantic search, sentiment analysis
  • social good and collaborative search
  • speech recognition
  • structured data
  • semi-structured data and databases
  • task-based and exploratory search
  • web, digital libraries and social media search

Paper Submissions

All submissions must describe work that is not previously published, not accepted for publication elsewhere, and not currently under review elsewhere. The same work cannot be submitted as both a long paper and a short paper.

All submissions must be in English, in PDF format, and in ACM two-column format. Long paper submissions should not exceed 8 pages. Short papers should not exceed 4 pages. Suitable LaTeX and Word templates for ICTIR are available from the ACM website.

The algorithms, resources and methods used within a paper should be described as completely as possible. Authors may upload supplementary material, including detailed descriptions, test datasets, or code; however, this information is not part of the submission paper, and will be read only at the discretion of the reviewers.

The review process for all submissions is double-blind, and authors must take all reasonable steps to conceal their identity.

Submissions will be rejected without review if they are over the specified page limit, or if they violate the formatting guidelines, or if they are not anonymous, or if they are incomplete.

Papers must be submitted electronically via the conference submission system. Authors should carefully go through ACM’s authorship policy before submitting a paper.

Submission page: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ictir2018

Call for Workshops

The ACM SIGIR International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research related to the foundational aspects of Information Retrieval (IR).

The ICTIR 2018 organizing committee invites proposals for full-day and half-day workshops to be held at the ICTIR conference. ICTIR workshops provide a venue for exploring and discussing emerging research directions related to the foundational aspects of Information Retrieval (IR), including, for example, human search processes, search and recommendation, learning and optimization, language and representations, sensory information, artificial intelligence, ethics and responsibility. Proposals for highly interactive workshops are encouraged.

The format and content of each workshop will be determined by its organizers. Examples include Q&As, debates, panels, or even a competition or a challenge around an interesting and realistically sized dataset (possibly released by the workshop organizers for that purpose) that can be used to validate a theory or provide a clear message to the community as to which aspects need further (theoretical) investigation, based on the experimental findings.


The submission should be in PDF format and should not exceed 4 pages in ACM style.

The proposal should include the following information:

  • Title and Abstract of the workshop
  • Description of the workshop: objectives, goals, relevance to ICTIR, and expected outcomes
  • Proposed workshop duration (1/2 or full day), format, activities, and schedule
  • Description of intended audience, the selection process for participants, and the estimated number of participants
  • Proposed workshop organizers (names, affiliations and email addresses; identify one person as the primary contact person)
  • Short biographical sketch of each organizer, describing relevant qualifications and experience (e.g., previous workshop organizing)
  • Related workshops (if applicable); if the workshop has been held previously at ICTIR or another conference, then the organizers should describe briefly past outcomes and why another workshop is needed.
  • Any other relevant information to support your proposal (i.e. program committee, list of invited speakers, overall vision/approach etc.)

The proposal should be submitted via email to

dibuccio@dei.unipd.it with

"[ictir2018] workshop proposal" in the subject line.

Important Dates

May 16, 2018 Workshop proposals due

May 26, 2018 Workshops notifications

Workshop Chair

Emanuele Di Buccio (University of Padova, Italy)

Call for Tutorials

The ACM SIGIR International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR) provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research related but not limited to IR Theory and Practice, User Aspects, IR System Architectures and Scalability, Content Representation and Processing, Evaluation, Machine Learning for IR, IR Applications, etc. The conference explicitly welcomes tutorials on core IR and on connections between IR and its neighbouring disciplines, especially on the topic listed in the call for papers.

Tutorial Proposal Submissions

    Submissions should include tutorial details as well as an extended abstract specifying:

  • The title and length of the tutorial
  • Prerequisite knowledge or skills required
  • Complete contact information for the organizers along with their brief biography
  • Motivation
  • Objectives
  • The format and the detailed schedule of the tutorial
  • Relevance to the ICTIR community
  • Details of materials to be supplied to attendees

The tutorial proposal should be submitted via email to

haiming.liu@beds.ac.uk by the deadline with

"[ictir2018] tutorial proposal" in the subject line.

Important Dates

May 26, 2018: Tutorial proposals due

June 5, 2018: Tutorials notifications

Tutorials Chair

Haiming Liu (University of Bedfordshire, UK)


The conference will be held at the Tianjin Westin Hotel. From 24-hour Concierge Service to the ease of secure luggage storage, The Westin Tianjin guest experiences exceptional service and enjoys distinctive amenities that meet the individual needs of each traveller. We are dedicated to providing every convenience you may need for business, pleasure, and everything in-between, including a multilingual staff, currency exchange, and laundry/valet service.



Dawei Song, Beijing Institute of Technology

Tie-Yan Liu, Microsoft Research Asia (China)

Le Sun, Chinese Information Processing Society of China


Peter Bruza, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

Massimo Melucci, University of Padua (Italy)


Fabrizio Sebastiani, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)

Grace Hui Yang, Georgetown University (USA)


Emanuele Di Buccio, University of Padua (Italy)


Haiming Liu, University of Bedfordshire (UK)


Zhicheng Dou, Renmin University of China

Udo Kruschwitz, University of Essex (UK)


Jiafeng Guo, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)

Ingo Frommholz, University of Bedfordshire (UK)


Peng Zhang, Tianjin University (China)

Bo Wang, Tianjin University (China)

Yuexian Hou, Tianjin University (China)


Sagar Uprety, The Open University (UK)

Qiuchi Li, University of Padua (Italy)


Cheng Zhang, Tianjin University (China)