Funded PhD position in Information Retrieval and Social Networks – University of Saint-Étienne, France

The “Data Mining and Information Retrieval of structured data” group from the University of Saint-Étienne (France) invites applications for a *fully funded 3-year PhD position* at the Hubert-Curien lab.

Title: Impact of social networks on the Information Retrieval Process

Starting date of the thesis: October, 1st 2010.

Short abstract:
The explosion of Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, sharing sites, social networks, etc.) opens up new perspectives for sharing and managing information.
In this context, this thesis deals with the impact of Social Networks on the Information Retrieval (IR) Process.
The IR models and algorithms, originally developed to represent and retrieve flat and homogeneous documents, are evolving in order to handle new types of documents: structured (XML), multimedia, Web, etc. This thesis aims at developping a theoretical IR model integrating the social dimension of social networks in focusing on two issues:
1) identification and representation of social relations (extracted from: user profiles, readings, clicks, bookmarks, tags, votes, links, etc.).
2) impact of these social relations on the IR process (document and query model, user profile, weighting function, matching function), and particularly on the one hand on the content representation by improving the document model, and on the other hand, on the selection of relevant information by improving the matching model.

Applicants should have or be in the process of getting a *Master’s degree in Computer Science*.
Skills in information retrieval and data mining would be appreciated. Good programming capabilities are required!
A good level in English is also required.

The selected candidate will join the “Machine Learning” group composed of 20 researchers working at the crossroads of information retrieval, data mining, social networks and machine learning.

Applications (including CV, motivation letter, grades of the last two academic years) should be sent to:
mathias.gery(at) and christine.largeron(at)
by April, 22th 2010 at the latest.

Some links:
– Research team:
– Saint-Étienne is a medium size city near Lyon, France.
– Some facts about Saint-Étienne can be found here:Étienne
– The University of Saint-Étienne is a member of the University of Lyon consortium.
– Paris can be reached from Saint-Étienne in less than 3 hours via a direct train. Saint-Étienne has a small Airport connected by RyanAir ( The closest international airport is Lyon Saint-Exupéry (
– The city is surrounded by the “Pilat Regional Parc” in which almost any outdoor activity can be practiced (
– The art museum in Saint-Étienne holds the second national contemporary art collection, and classical music concerts, dance shows, and operas are performed at the Saint-Étienne “Massenet Opera”.