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Information Retrieval

Code: PRODEI025     Acronym: RI

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Science and Technology Programming

Instance: 2018/2019 - 2S Ícone do Moodle

Active? Yes
Web Page: https://moodle.up.pt/course/view.php?id=1167
Responsible unit: Department of Informatics Engineering
Course/CS Responsible: Doctoral Program in Informatics Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
PRODEI 2 Syllabus 1 - 6 28 162

Teaching - Hours

Recitations: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Recitations Totals 1 2,00
Maria Cristina de Carvalho Alves Ribeiro 2,00

Teaching language

Suitable for English-speaking students



Information retrieval (IR) deals with automatic methods for computing answers to queries on large document collections. Answers may take different forms, from document lists to document summaries, from XML elements to entities in documents. For some information retrieval tasks there are currently well-known tools used for accessing online information; Web search engines are a standard example.

Specific objectives:

  -Motivate students to the variety os tasks in information retrieval and to their multiple uses;

-Make the students familiar with the main concepts in IR and with the proposed models and techniques;

-Explore existing tools for building information retrieval systems and apply them to datasets from a selected domain.


Learning outcomes and competences


-Document content analysis and extraction of document descriptors;

-Analysis, summarization and presentation of papers form the literature;

-Choice of appropriate computational tools for the tasks to be addressed;

-Planning experiments to test a proposed solution.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this unit, students are expected to:

-Provide definitions for the main concepts in information retrieval;

-Identify the components of an information retrieval system and explain their roles;

-Describe the main assumptions and features of the classical information retrieval models;

-Use existing software libraries to develop tools for information retrieval tasks;

-Describe the main challenges and issues in Information Retrieval.

Working method


Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

Skills in computer programming for application development. 


-Information retrieval: tasks, methods, open problems.

-Document indexing: vocabularies, posting lists, index construction.

-Retrieval Models: Boolean, vectorial, probabilistic.

-Evaluation in information retrieval.

-Web information retrieval: crawling and indexing.

-Link analysis and its use for ranking results.

Mandatory literature

Manning, Christopher D.; Introduction to information retrieval. ISBN: 978-0-521-86571-5

Complementary Bibliography

Jones, Karen Sparck 340; Readings in Information Retrieval. ISBN: 1-55860-454-5

Teaching methods and learning activities

Students define and develop a semester-long project. Project themes are proposed by the students and validated with the teacher. Program topics are discussed based on a reading list, and some papers from the list are presented by the students in class meetings.


Physical sciences > Computer science > Informatics

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 0,00
Trabalho escrito 50,00
Trabalho laboratorial 50,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de relatório/dissertação/tese 12,00
Estudo autónomo 60,00
Trabalho de investigação 30,00
Trabalho laboratorial 60,00
Total: 162,00

Eligibility for exams

Project development.

Calculation formula of final grade

Evaluation of the assignments and project results.

Examinations or Special Assignments

Not applicable. All students develop their projects according to the course schedule.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Not applicable. All students develop their projects according to the course schedule.

Classification improvement

Grade improvement requires the development of a new project, in the next edition of the unit.

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