November 10 – 15 , 2019, Dagstuhl Seminar 19461

Conversational Search


Avishek Anand (Leibniz Universität Hannover, DE)
Lawrence Cavedon (RMIT University – Melbourne, AU)
Hideo Joho (University of Tsukuba – Ibaraki, JP)
Mark Sanderson (RMIT University – Melbourne, AU)
Benno Stein (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, DE)

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List of Participants
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The Conversational Search Paradigm promises to satisfy information needs using human-like dialogs, be it in spoken or in written form. This kind of “information-providing dialogs” will increasingly happen enpassant and spontaneously, probably triggered by smart objects with which we are surrounded such as intelligent assistants (Alexa, Siri, etc.), domestic appliances, environmental control devices, toys, or autonomous robots and vehicles. The outlined development marks a paradigm shift for information technology, and the key question(s) is (are):

What does Conversational Search mean and how to make the most of it—given the possibilities and the restrictions that come along with this paradigm?

Currently, our understanding is still too limited to exploit the Conversational Search Paradigm for effectively satisfying the existing diversity of information needs. Hence, with this first Dagstuhl Seminar on Conversational Search we intend to bring together leading researchers from relevant communities to understand and to analyze this promising retrieval paradigm and its future from different angles.

Among others, we expect to discuss issues related to interactivity, result presentation, clarification, user models, and evaluation, but also search behavior that can lead into a human-machine debate or an argumentation related to the information need in question.

Moreover, we expect to define, shape, and formalize a set of corresponding problems to be addressed, as well as to highlight associated challenges that are expected to come in the form of multiple modalities and multiple users. Correspondingly, we intend to define a roadmap for establishing a new interdisciplinary research community around Conversational Search, for which the seminar will serve as a prominent scientific event, with hopefully many future events to come.

Motivation text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Avishek Anand, Hideo Joho, Mark Sanderson, and Benno Stein


  • Artificial Intelligence / Robotics
  • Data Bases / Information Retrieval
  • Society / Human-computer Interaction


  • Information Retrieval
  • Discourse and Dialogue
  • Interactive Systems
  • Human-Machine Interaction
  • User Simulation


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