2013 Distinguished Alum Talk and Award Presentation

in Recent News
September 12th, 2013

Boston University
Department of Computer Science
2013 Distinguished Alum Talk and Award Presentation

Prof. Eric Nyberg (BA 1983)

Date: Friday, September 27, at 11am
Location: Hariri Institute

Automatic Optimization of Intelligent Information Systems

Software frameworks which support integration and scaling of text
analysis algorithms make it possible to build complex, high performance
information systems for information extraction, information retrieval,
and question answering; IBM¹s Watson is a prominent example. As the
complexity and scaling of information systems become ever greater, it is
much more challenging to effectively and efficiently determine which
toolkits, algorithms, knowledge bases or other resources should be
integrated into an information system in order to achieve a desired or
optimal level of performance on a given task. This talk presents a
formal representation of the space of possible system configurations,
given a set of information processing components and their parameters,
and discusses algorithmic approaches to determine an optimal
configuration. We introduce the Configuration Space Exploration
framework, an extension to the UIMA framework which provides a general
distributed solution for building and exploring configuration spaces for
information systems. Using the CSE framework, we explored over one
trillion combinations of components and parameter values for a
biomedical information system evaluated on TREC Genomics datasets, and
achieved results which are significantly better than prior published work.


Dr. Eric Nyberg is a Professor in the Language Technologies Institute in
the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is
Director for the M.S. program in Very Large Information Systems, and
co-Director for the M.S. Program in Biotechnology, Innovation, and
Computation. He has made significant research contributions to the
fields of automatic text translation, information retrieval, and
automatic question answering. Dr. Nyberg received his Ph.D. from
Carnegie Mellon University (1992), and his BA from Boston University
(1983). He has pioneered the Open Advancement of Question Answering, an
architecture and methodology for accelerating collaborative research in
automatic question answering. In 2012, Dr. Nyberg received the Allen
Newell Award for Research Excellence for his scientific contributions to
the field of question answering and his work on the Watson project.

More about the BU Computer Science Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award: