University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: COM2010 Module Title: INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
Module Provider: Computing Short Name: CS257
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: GILLAM L Dr (Computing)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Assessment Pattern


Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)




·          Students will carry out four time-limited online assessments that will involve applying and evaluating various concepts and principles introduced in lectures and tested in lab sessions. Text analysis software (System Quirk) and search engine software (Lucene) will be used to undertake necessary analysis for one or more of these assessments.


·          Marks will be awarded for appropriate analysis of the multimedia data leading to the expected results, and the assessments will comprise a series of multiple choice and short answer questions.


·          Submissions will be made through the VLE.








2-hour written unseen examination comprising a mixture of short answer and discussion questions.




Qualifying Condition(s) 


A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module.



Module Overview


Module Overview


This module will provide students with an understanding of information retrieval as it relates to multimedia (text, image, video and audio data) on the web, covering fundamental techniques and strategies used in a variety of online applications and relating to personal media collections, organisation-wide media archives, web-search engines, and virtual worlds. 



Module Aims

Module Aims


The module aims to help students gain understanding of the current study of information retrieval and provide practical understanding of how multimedia data are represented for analysis and use in particular applications.


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes


By the end of the module students should be able to:


1.                    Apply appropriate techniques for analysing and modelling text documents


2.                    Explain theories behind search engine systems and assess their performance


3.                    Apply standard metadata sets to describe media items in an archive


4.                    Compare and use different kinds of metadata for image data


5.                    Explain, contrast and evaluate the modelling of information to support media access, especially retrieval and browsing, in a variety of applications - these include personal media collections, organisation-wide media archives, web-based search engines, and virtual worlds.


6.                    Distinguish and apply data models for temporal media (video/audio)


7.                    Describe video content in terms of objects, events and temporal relationships between events


8.                    Design and implement a synchronised multimedia presentation including a variety of media types and temporal relationships


Module Content

Module Content


·          Modelling text data and keywords – inverted index, thesauri for query expansion, precision/recall


·          Metadata for multimedia – e.g. the Dublin Core Metadata Set, MPEG-7·  


·          Key concepts: user information needs, modelling, media access functions – retrieval and browsing, multimedia content and different levels of abstraction· 


·          Current applications, including personal media collections, organisation-wide media archives, web-based search engines, and virtual worlds: considering exemplar applications such as Flickr, YouTube and Second Life. 


·          Modelling the content of images – content independent, content-dependent, content-descriptive metadata; case studies of image retrieval systems·  


·          Modelling the content of temporal media (video and audio) – data models with discrete, overlapping and hierarchical intervals; formal descriptions of objects, events and temporal relationships between events; the MPEG standards·  


·          Combining media items into synchronised presentations using the Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL)·  


Methods of Teaching/Learning

Methods of Teaching/Learning


The module will develop an understanding for the role of modelling multimedia information through:· 


·          Lectures, including case studies·  


·          Occasional set reading·  


·          In-class discussion


The module will develop practical skills through:·  


·          In-class and out-of-class exercises·  


·          Lab sessions·  


·          Coursework


Activities will be co-ordinated via the module webpage and through ULearn


Selected Texts/Journals

Selected Texts/Journals


No textbook recommended for purchase. 



Sections of books will be given as Optional Reading and will be made available via the Library Article Collection service. 



Further Optional Reading will be given from online resources, e.g. technical standards and academic journals. 


Last Updated

08/09/2010 jg