CAREER: Eyes of the Foreseer - Integrative and In Situ Information Retrieval and Mining in Online Communities

National Science Foundation Award Number: NSF-IIS 1054199

Contact Information

Qiaozhu Mei

Assistant Professor
School of Information
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Michigan
Office: 4437 North Quad, 105 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734)-763-0076
Email: qmei AT umich DOT edu


Award Information

This website is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-1054199. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Project Background

With the growth of online communities, the Web has evolved from networks of shared documents to networks of knowledge-sharing groups and individuals. A vast amount of heterogeneous yet interrelated information is being generated for which existing information analysis techniques are inadequate. Current tools often neglect the actual creators and consumers of information, and as a result, the findings are only useful to data analysts.

Project Goals

The user-centric Foreseer is the next generation of information analysis for online communities. It represents a new paradigm of study through the four "Cs": content, context, crowd, and cloud. Information analysis of content is put into the context of the users’ daily lives to benefit the communities (crowd) that generate information residing in the cloud. This project is the first integrative and in situ analysis of information generated in online communities that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Research of Foreseer consists of formal community models, efficient data analysis tools, advanced solutions of real applications, and novel information systems.

Project Impact

Making the results available to everyday Web users, not just data analysts, will result in improved dissemination of ideas, shared public opinions, and wise decision-making in online communities. Novel Web-based information systems will form prototypes that can be used in online social and health communities. The research will enhance the current information analysis and retrieval curricula and lead to a number of new classes in information science and health informatics.

Educational Impact

Part of research results in this project have been used in information retrieval courses (SI 650/EECS 549), network courses (SI 508), and data mining (SI 721) offered by the school of information. Online competitions through Kaggle-in-Class have been established based on the research of this project. Through the online competitions students have access to a new, in-situ classroom learning model of data analysis techniques.



We have established collaboration with, Yahoo!,, IBM,, Tsinghua University, and Peking University in the scope of this project. Thanks to our excellent collaborators, We have got access to real datasets and applications through the collaborations.


Last Updated: December 2013.