CIKM-2018 in Turino, Italy

In October, Andrew attended the 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2018) that was organized in Torino, Italy. Here, he shares his experience of the Torino trip.


CIKM 2018 was hosted at the Centro Congressi Lingotto, which is part of the old Fiat factory in the Lingotto area of Turin. On top of this building, you can still visit the old Fiat’s roof driving track where all Fiat’s cars were tested.

Centro Congressi Lingotto
(Conference Venue)
CIKM Opening Ceremony

CIKM 2018, with the theme, “From Big Data and Big Information to Big Knowledge”, brought together leading researchers and developers from the knowledge management, information retrieval, and database communities. This year, CIKM featured 147 full papers, 96 short papers, 33 industry papers, and 26 demonstrations in both oral presentation and poster forms.


The conference happened from 22 October to 26 October 2018, starting with many activities: workshops, AnalytiCup, CIKM Connect, following by research paper presentations on the main conference days, posters and tutorials on the last day. This year, CIKM welcomed more than 800 participants from all over the world. One of the highlights of CIKM 2018 was the inspiring and insightful keynote speeches from three amazing invited speakers, addressing new research ideas as well as challenges in building real-world AI applications. The takeaway message for me from the three keynotes is that one should focus on solving hard, impactful research problems to better advance the progress in AI.

Maarten de Rijke on “Shifting Information Interactions”
Edward Grefenstette on “Teaching Artificial Agents to Understand Language by Modelling Reward”
Yoelle Maarek on “Alexa and Her Shopping Journey”

Our paper, titled “Multiperspective Graph-Theoretic Similarity Measure”, describing a graph-based framework for modeling multiple similarity perspectives in the data, was accepted as an oral presentation in CIKM 2018. The presentation was well received by the audience, followed up by a constructive QA session. Especially, there was one very interesting comment on the possible use of graph embedding for the problem of multiple perspective similarity learning that I would like to consider for future work.

Andrew is presenting our paper on
“Multiperspective Graph-Theoretic Similarity Measure”

The conference participants were also treated with appealing and delicious Italian food, not to mention free-flow of wine. It was also the time for people to network with each other and congratulate all the award winners (including Test Of Time Award, CIKM Analytic Competition, Best Full Paper, Best Short Paper, and Best Demo).


CIKM 2018 was also an opportunity to discover Turin, the first capital of Italy. The city is famous for many museums and churches with amazing architectures. I first visited the Egyptian Museum of Turin, which is known as the best and largest museum outside Egypt dedicated solely to Egyptian art and culture. This is a must-visit place if you go to Turin.

Appealing and delicious food in CIKM18 banquet

The second place I visited was the Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark building in Turin. It also houses the National Museum of Cinema, presenting pre-cinematographic optical devices such as magic lanterns, earlier and current film technologies, stage items from early Italian movies.


Turin was also pronounced for its car manufacturing industry with Fiat is the most dominating name. That is why on the last day in Turin, I decided to explore the National Automobile Museum, currently owning a collection of almost 200 cars among eighty automobile brands representing eight countries. The museum also has its own library, documentation centre, bookshop, and auditorium. If you are a car lover, you should definitively visit this building.

An old car from the Automobile Museum
A Sphinx statue from the Egyptian Museum

Lastly, as a football fan, I could not help but to visit Allianz Stadium, house of Juventus football club. I also visited the nearby Juventus museum to learn more about the rich tradition of this club. I got to see by my own eyes the Champion League cup and the Ballon d’Or Ball. What a fantastic experience!

Andrew at the entrance of
the Juventus Museum
Mini Mole Antonelliana from
the National Museum of Cinema