Expertise Retrieval


People have looked for experts since before the advent of computers. With advances in information retrieval technology, coupled with the large-scale availability of traces of knowledge-related activities, computer systems that can fully automate the process of locating expertise have become a reality. The past decade has witnessed tremendous interest and a wealth of results in expertise retrieval as an emerging subdiscipline in information retrieval. This survey highlights advances in models and algorithms relevant to this field. We draw connections among methods proposed in the literature and summarize them in five groups of basic approaches. These serve as the building blocks for more advanced models that arise when we consider a range of content-based factors that may impact the strength of association between a topic and a person. We also discuss practical aspects of building an expert search system and present applications of the technology in other domains such as blog distillation and entity retrieval. The limitations of current approaches are also pointed out. We end our survey with a set of conjectures on what the future may hold for expertise retrieval research.


information retrieval, expertise retrieval, algorithms, content-based factors, blog distillation, entity retrieval

Date of this Version



Foundations and Trends® in Information Retrieval
Volume 6 Issue 2-3