Information Retrieval

General Information

This web page gives information on the lecture 'Information Retrieval' which is held during the winter term 2019/2020 by Andreas Nürnberger. It will be constantly updated during the course.

Information retrieval focuses on obtaining, extracting or mining information from a large collection of unstructured data, e.g. in form of text documents, images or videos. Information retrieval concepts are applied in web search engines, digital libraries and multimedia archives such as image and video databases. In this course the foundations of information retrieval will be introduced and illustrated on some specific application areas.

Master students, please note that this course is 5CP only!

Requirements for Participation in the Final Exam

All students are required to participate in the exercise classes. Every week, there will be an assignment sheet that will be handed out one week in advance. This sheet has to be prepared by every student and will be discussed in class. There are two different types of exercise tasks: theoretical tasks and a programming task. The programming assignments can be solved in small groups of up to three students and must be sent in before the respective deadline. Prerequisites for a written exam and a 'Schein' is fulfillment of the following criteria:

  • at least 66% of votes for all theoretical tasks,
  • at least 50% of the programming task (can be done in groups- 4-5 students per group)
  • at least two presentations of a solution in front of the class.

For acquiring the "Schein" you have to write and pass the exam.

A general reminder: In accordance with the examination rules, we offer each student exactly one examination date (oral or written) each term. The registration for a follow-up examination is only possible in the next term (i.e. after 6 months). As soon as a student has registered for an exam, either by using the LSF for written exams or by filling in the information on an examination list for oral exams (or filling out a registration form), this is counted as the agreed examination date. If it is cancelled, the rule above applies.

Dates and Rooms

  Time Start Room
Lecture Tue, 15:00 - 17:00 15.10.2019 G03-315
Exercise (1st group)/(5th group) Tue, 9:00 - 11:00 22.10.2019 G22A-211/G29-E037
Exercise (2nd group) Fri, 9:00 - 11:00 25.10.2019 G22A-217
Exercise (3rd group) Thu, 15:00 - 17:00 24.10.2019 G22A-112
Exercise (4th group) Wed, 15:00 - 17:00 23.10.2019 G22A-208
Written Exam Thu, 11:00-13:00 13.02.2020 H-1

 Please register for the exercises via LSF!

Students selected (LSF Status = Zugelassen/Accepted) for the exercises by the LSF system (automatically) should find the acceptance in their LSF schedules/calendar. There is NO possibility for changing the exercise groups (please do not send us emails requesting a change). Unfortunately we could not accept all applications. 

An an email confirmation was sent to students selected by the LSF for exercises on 18th Oct 2019.

Selected students who do not appear for the first exercise will be dropped unless an email is sent to or

In case there are open slots, we will intimate students from the waiting list. (LSF Status = Warteliste/Angemeldet/Applied)

Update 1: Additional slides on document pre-processing. Details below!

Update 2: Details of the programming task 01 is available online. Details below!

1) Deadline to form groups (4-5 students) is 10th Nov '19 and the submission deadline is 29th Nov'19.

2) Prog. Task 01 will have 15 points, Prog. Task 02 will have 5 points. If you achieve 10 or more points in prog. task 01, then you do NOT need to submit prog. task 02.

3) It is possible to create prog. task groups with students from different exercise groups

Registrations will be open from the 16th of September 2019 until the 10th of November 2019.

Update on the exam:

1) There will be a short 10-15 min general discussion on the written exam structure on 14th Jan, at the end of the lecture.

2) For those who cannot attend, the exam will be based on topics discussed in the lecture and the exercises.

3) The exam will have questions covering the entire course content. The questions will typically require short answers, fill-in-the-blanks, multiple choice questions, numericals.

Non-programmble calculators will be allowed for the IR Exam on 13th Feb 2020!

There will be a final round of short discussion on the exam structure, after the lecture on 28th Jan '20, from 4.15 pm to 4.40 pm!

Exam results for Information Retrieval (IR) are now available via LSF. We cannot provide any appointments between 19.03 to 20.04 due to the ongoing situation.

We will provide an appointment only after the summer semester resumes on or after 20th April, only if it is allowed. Watch this space! Take care!

Update on Projects in Summer Semester 2020: please send the applications in proper format by 5th 9th April 2020 EOD

Students interested for scientific team projects in the summer semester 2020 are requested to send a 2 page PDF application to by 5th 9th April 2020. A maximum of two project topics will be provided with about 3-4 student per team.


Teaching Staff

If you have any questions about the lecture or the exercises, please contact us via e-mail:


Lecture Slides


Programming Task

  • Prog. Task 01 (Submission due by 29th Nov'19, Deadline to register groups: 10th Nov'19)
  • Implementation possible only using Java. For any queries related to the prog. task, email:

Additional Materials


  • Introduction to Information Retrieval, C.D. Manning, P. Raghavan, H. Schütze, Cambridge University Press, 2008. (Online-Version)
  • Search User Interfaces, Marti Hearst, Cambridge University Press, 2009. (Online-Version)
  • Soft Computing in Information Retrieval, Fabio Crestani and Gabriella Pasi, Physica Verlag, 2000.
  • Modern Information Retrieval, Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribiero-Neto, Addison Wesley, 1999.
  • Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, Chris Manning and Hinrich Schütze, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999.
  • Information Retrieval: Data Structures and Algorithms, William B. Frakes and Ricardo Baeza-Yates, Prentice-Hall, 1992.

Last Modification: 17.01.2024 - Contact Person: