Welcome to COSC431 - Information Retrieval


Andrew Trotman (Owheo building, room 123A)


If you have ever used a Web search engine, like Google or Bing!, you will realise how helpful computers can be in finding information, and how frustrating. This paper will tell you how we can use computers to find information in unstructured or semi-structured text, and why it is as hard as it is important to do better. We'll start from the basics of IR, plot an intersting path through informaiton, and finish with recent research.


Second year programming and data structures.


There will be an examination worth 60% and two practical assignments worth a total of 40%.

  • Assignment 1 - Write a search engine (20%).
  • Assignment 2 - Research something interesting (20%).
  • Examination (60%)

Course Materials

The course material for COSC431 is in Blackboard.