WePS: searching information about entities in the Web

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WePS-2 Call for Participation

The WePS-2 workshop will be held in conjunction with WWW2009

Second Web People Search Evaluation Workshop

Call for Participation

Finding information about people in the World Wide Web is one of the most common activities of Internet users. Person names, however, are highly ambiguous. In most cases, the results for a person name search are a mix of pages about different people sharing the same name. The user is then forced either to add terms to the query (probably losing recall and focusing on one single aspect of the person), or to browse every document in order to filter the information about the person he/she is actually looking for. In an ideal system the user would simply type a person name, and receive search results clustered according to the different people sharing that name.

In 2007 the Web People Search Task (Artiles et al. 2007) was the first competitive evaluation focused on this problem. The 16 participating systems received a set of web pages for a person name, and they had to cluster them into different entities. This second evaluation provides a new testbed corpus, improved evaluation metrics, and an additional attribute extraction subtask.

Task definitions


In this task systems receive as input a set of web search results obtained when performing a query for an (ambiguous) person name. The expected output is a clustering of the web pages, where each cluster is assumed to contain all (and only those) pages that refer to the same individual.

Attribute Extraction

This subtask consists of extracting 18 kinds of attribute values for target individuals whose names appear on each of the provided Web pages. The organizers will distribute the target Web pages in their original format (i.e., html), and the participant systems have to extract attribute values from each page.

Complete guidelines and data



The clustering and the attribute extraction task will be regarded as two separate subtasks, and therefore a team can choose to participate in only one or both of them. The organizers will provide annotated data for developing/training systems. On a second stage, an unannotated corpus will be distributed, systems output will be collected and evaluation results returned to the participants. Each team can submit up to five runs. Every team is expected to write a paper describing their system and discussing the evaluation results.

How do I register ?

Please send an email expressing your interest to the task organizers ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Important Dates

  • October 2008: Distribute the training data + CFP
  • December 1-8, 2008: Evaluation
  • December 17, 2008: Return the evaluation result
  • February 2009: Papers due.
  • April 2x, 2009: Workshop in Madrid.

Workshop Organizers

  • Satoshi Sekine, Proteus Project (NYU).
  • Javier Artiles, NLP & IR Group (UNED).
  • Julio Gonzalo, NLP & IR Group (UNED).

Program Committee

  • Eneko Agirre, UBC
  • Breck Balwin, Alias-i
  • Danushka Bollegala, Tokyo University
  • Andrew Borthwick, Spock
  • Jeremy Ellman, Northumbria University
  • Donna Harman, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Eduard Hovy, ISI
  • Dmitri Kalashnikov, University of California, Irvine
  • Paul Kalmar, Fair Issac
  • Bernardo Magnini, FBK-irst, Italy
  • Gideon Mann, Google
  • Yutaka Matsuo, Tokyo University
  • Manabu Okumura, Tokyo Inst. of Tech.
  • Ted Pedersen, University of Minnesota
  • Massimo Poesio, University of Essex
  • Maarten de Rijke, University of Amsterdam
  • Mark Sanderson, University of Sheffield
  • Arjen P. de Vries, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica