Louisiana State University
School of Library and Information Science & Department of Computer Science

LIS7610/CSC7481 - Information Retrieval Systems
Fall 2012 - Section 01

Catalog Description

Principles of organizing and providing access to information using automated information storage and retrieval systems. Retrieval system models, index language selection, data structures, user interfaces and evaluation for text and multimedia applications.


MLIS students must have completed, waived, or concurrently registered for LIS7008 Information Technologies. CSC students must have completed (or waived) CSC3102 Advanced Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis. Students enrolled in other programs should consult with the instructor to determine whether their academic preparation is appropriate for this course.



We will develop a general model for information retrieval systems in class, and will then use readings and class discussions to explore how that model can be used as a basis for understanding the design of information retrieval systems for a variety of applications. Homework assignments will be used to explore individual techniques in greater detail. Students will complete a term project in which they will solve a real information retrieval problem with the goal of developing a better understanding of implementation and evaluation issues.

Contact Information

  Instructor Teaching Assistant      Technology Assistant
Name Yejun Wu    
Email wuyj {at} lsu {dot} edu    
Office 272 Coates Hall    
Phone (225)578-1489    

I am available by appointment to discuss material from class, the readings, homework assignments, the project, etc. Email is the best way to reach me to set up an appointment, and it is also a good way to get a quick answer to a simple question. The teaching assistant is available to help with the installation and use of information retrieval systems. Contact the technology assistant during class or by email at least two weeks in advance if you have special system configuration requirements for your term project presentation.


Day Time Activity Room
Tuesday    2:30-5:20PM    Class 205 Coates Hall
Monday 11AM-12PM Office Hour    272 Coates Hall

A syllabus that summarizes what we will cover each week can be found on the class Web site. There are no scheduled lab sessions. Students wishing to discuss accommodations for unusual circumstances should come see me before the third class session.

Course Materials

The class Web site at http://www.csc.lsu.edu/~wuyj/Teaching/7481/fa12/ contains the most recent version of all material produced for this course. Among other things, this course description, the syllabus, the reading list, lecture notes and homework assignments can be found there.

Textbook and supplemental reading assignments for each week can be found on the syllabus. The principal text for this course (referred to below as "MRS" for the authors' initials) is Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan and Heinrich Schuetze, An Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press. 2008. The online edition has small difference from the printed version.

Students are encouraged to use Moodle to share information that would be of general interest, to describe their project interests when seeking potential partners, or for any other purpose that seems reasonable.


Course grades will be assigned based on homework, a term project, and an in-class final examination. With the exception noted below, scores on each component will be combined to produce a single overall score for each student as follows:
Component     Portion of Grade
Homework     20%
Project     50%
Final Exam     30%

The course grade and scores for each course requirement (homework assignment, exam, project) will be assigned on a 100 point scale (with 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, etc).

The homework assignments are designed to provide an opportunity for students to explore specific topics in a structured way. Students may work together on the homework assignments, but all of the material that is turned in for grading must be produced individually. For example, students may form study groups and work out homework solutions together on a chalkboard or by each working separately on different terminals and then sharing what they have learned, but it would not be permissible for one student to prepare an answer set and then for other students to copy those answers and submit it as their own work.

A term project will be completed by the end of the semester. Students may work individually or in groups. Additional details are provided on the project plan page.

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Acknowledgment to Doug Oard, Revised by Yejun Wu.
Last modified: August 16, 2012