Course Title: Frontiers of Information Retrieval

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Frontiers of Information Retrieval

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. James Thom

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2992

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You may not enrol in this course unless it is explicitly listed in your enrolment program summary, and you have confirmed with your program coordinator that it is an appropriate choice for your study plan.

You should have an understanding of basic principles of text retrieval and evaluation of information retrieval systems as taught in the course Information Retrieval which is a co-requisite.

Disclaimer: This seminar-mode course will run only if there are sufficient enrolments by the beginning of the relevant semester. If it is cancelled, you will be advised to choose a suitable alternative course.

Course Description

This course extends the knowledge of the techniques used to retrieve information. Typical areas covered in this course include enterprise information retrieval, book search, information organisation and visualisation,  image retrieval, video retrieval, music retrieval, multimedia retrieval, semi-structured retrieval, cross-lingual and multi-lingual, geographical retrieval, retrieval of genomic data.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will gain capabilities in:

  • ability to creatively design, analyse and synthesise systems and software,
  • expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so.

On completion of this course you should have gained a good understanding of advanced techniques for information retrieval and be able to apply these concepts into practice. Specifically, you should be able to:

  • use different information retrieval techniques in various application areas beyond plain text
  • apply information retrieval principles to locate relevant information large collections of data of various types
  • analyse performance of retrieval systems
  • implement retrieval systems for various applications (not just text)

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be run in a seminar mode where articles are discussed and analysed. In addition to developing knowledge of the content area students will develop skills in critical reading of research literature and in synthesising and comparing approaches to problems.

Students will be expected to participate actively in the discussions, and to take it in turn to lead the discussions. Discussion leadership will involve preparation of focus questions as well as leading of the discussion in class.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT) and will be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course consists of written summaries of reading material, an evaluation of participation in and leading class discussions, a short review paper and a major assignment..

For standard assessment details, including deadlines, weightings, and hurdle requirements relating to Computer Science and IT courses see: