Open Data for Local Search

OD4LS Workshop, in conjunction with WWW2016
Montreal, QC, Canada
April 12, 2016 - 2:00pm to 5:30pm

OD4LS Overview


Accepted papers

Important dates

Submission January 10, 2016
Author Notification February 2, 2016
Camera-ready Version February 18, 2016
Workshop April 12, 2016

Local search engines are specialized information retrieval systems enabling users to discover amenities and services in their neighborhood (schools, businesses, hospitals, etc.). Local search is a new field of economic activity explored by local business specialists such as Yellow Pages, Yelp or FourSquare, but also and increasingly by major players in the web like Google, Yahoo or Facebook. E-commerce specialists such as Amazon have also declared their interest for local search in the context of service offer, selling for instance services of local plumbers or lawyers.
Developing a local search system still raises scientific questions, as well as very specific technical issues. One of the main problem encountered is the partial availability or even the absence of informative contents related to local actors, merchants or service providers. This lack of content makes it hard to design efficient local search systems relying on vector space model. As opposed to traditional search engines that benefit from the indexation of full documents, local search engines mostly rely on business descriptions provided by phone companies or trade registers: names, addresses and telephone numbers are the only available data. Far from adequate to build efficient systems, these basic descriptions must be supplemented by other resources. For instance for a merchant, one would look for more descriptive textual content to help determine its business category (plumber, lawyer...), and extract metadata as hours of operation or specialized field of activity. All these mandatory contents are difficult to collect through traditional information extraction processes.
Introducing open data in the architecture of local search engines supports the identification and collection of structured content. Collaborative data such as those made available by the OpenStreetMap Foundation can be of help to identify new dealers, and improve their geolocation. The same data can also be utilized to optimize the mapping systems of local search engines. Semantic Web resources such as DBpedia contain keywords or content for enriching ontologies associated with a local search service. Open data provided by cities or national organizations, such as descriptions of public institutions, opening hours, location of shopping centers are other usable resources.
Available open data can be exploited to dramatically improve the design of local search engines and their contents. The purpose of this workshop is to explore new fields of investigation both in terms of algorithmic approaches as well as originality of usable data. The workshop will focus on how open data can be used to enhance the capabilities of local search engines.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Semantic web and open data usage to:

Geo content improvement using open data to:

Information extraction involving open data for:


Semantic Enrichment for Local Search Engine using Linked Open Data
Mazen Alobaidi, Khalid Mahmood and Susan Sabra
Improving Local Search with Open Geographic Data
Chuankai An and Dan Rockmore
Open Data Business Licence Usage to Improve Local Search Engine Content Ranking
Bob Lytle
An Intelligent Real Estate Search Engine for Finding Houses Optimally Geolocated to Reach Points of Interest
Jonathan Milot, Patrick Munroe, Éric Beaudry, François Grondin, Guillaume Bourdeau
Address Geocoding using Street Profiles for Local Search
Michael Peterman, Omar Benomar, Hacene Mechedou and Felix-Herve Bachand
A simple tags categorization framework using spatial coverage to discover geospatial semantics
Camille Tardy, Laurent Moccozet and Gilles Falquet


We invite submissions of full papers (up to 6 pages) and short papers (up to 4 pages). All submissions will be reviewed using a simple blind process, by at least three program committee members, and will be assessed based on their novelty, potential impact, and clarity of writing.
Accepted papers will be presented at the workshop, and included in the workshop proceedings. At least one author of each paper is expected to register for the workshop, and attend to present the paper.
We invite submissions of posters, and papers describing system demonstrations (up to 2 pages + 1 page for references).
The workshop proceedings will be published through the ACM Digital Library.
Paper submission must be formatted according to the LaTeX or Word ACM SIG Proceedings Template

Submit your paper!

Important dates:
Submission: January 10, 2016
Notification: February 2, 2016
Camera Ready: Extended - February 18, 2016
Workshop: April 12, 2016

For further information, please contact Marie-Jean Meurs [meurs [dot] marie-jean [at] uqam [dot] ca]

Program Committee

Hayda Almeida, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Félix-Hervé Bachand, Yellow Pages, Montreal, QC, Canada
Omar Ben-Omar, Yellow Pages, Montreal, QC, Canada
Arbi Bouchoucha, Yellow Pages, Montreal, QC, Canada
Eric Charton, Yellow Pages, Montreal, QC, Canada
Nizar Ghoula, Yellow Pages, Montreal, QC, Canada
Jens Grivolla, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Sebastian Hellmann, University of Leipzig, Germany
Leila Kosseim, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Gerard de Melo, Tsinghua University, China
Claudine Metral, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Marie-Jean Meurs, University of Quebec in Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Hafedh Mili, University of Quebec in Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Nada Naji, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA
Luka Nerima, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Giuseppe Rizzo, ISMB, Torino, Italy
Horacio Saggion, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Renée Sieber, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Juan-Manuel Torres-Moreno, University of Avignon, France
Petko Valtchev, University of Quebec in Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada



Eric Charton

Yellow Pages
Montréal, QC, Canada


Nizar Ghoula

Yellow Pages
Montréal, QC, Canada


Marie-Jean Meurs

Université du Québec à Montréal
Montréal, QC, Canada