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Weronika Łajewska

PhD Student

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About Me

I am a Ph.D. student at The Information Access and Artificial Intelligence Research Group at the University of Stavanger, supervised by Krisztian Balog. My research interests lie in the intersection of information retrieval, natural language processing and machine learning. I'm particularly interested in explainable and transparent conversational search.

I have a master's degree in Artificial Intelligence and a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Warsaw University of Technology. I had the opportunity to participate in two student exchanges at the University of Burgos in Spain and Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. My foray into the industry began during the first year of my bachelor's degree, where I worked at Intel Corporation. Afterward, I spent almost two years working as a software developer at Sollers Consulting. Although I enjoyed working closely with clients, I realized that I wasn't quite ready to leave academia behind. And so, my adventure with Information Retrieval in the far north began.

News

January 29, 2024: The paper An Ecosystem for Personal Knowledge Graphs: A Survey and Research Roadmap by Martin G. Skjæveland, Krisztian Balog, Nolwenn Bernard, Weronika Łajewska, and Trond Linjordet has been accepted by AI Open journal.

January 16, 2024: The paper Exploring the Role of Generative AI in Constructing Knowledge Graphs for Drug Indications with Medical Context by Reham Alharbi, Umair Ahmed, Daniil Dobriy, Weronika Łajewska, Laura Menotti, Mohammad Javad Saeedizade, and Michel Dumontier has been accepted at the 15th International SWAT4HCLS 2024 Conference, Semantic Web Applications and Tools for Healthcare and Life Sciences (SWAT4HCLS'24). This paper is an extension of the project we were working on during International Semantic Web Research Summer School.

December 19, 2023: I've just completed my 3-month research visit to the Research Centre for Information Discovery and Data Analytics (CIDDA) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. I was collaborating with Damiano Spina and Johanne Trippas on aspects of my research related to the user-system interaction. It has been a truly transformative experience. A special thanks to Damiano Spina, for being an amazing host and helping me make the most of my time there. Learned a ton, met fantastic people — couldn't have asked for a better experience!

December 14, 2023: The paper Towards Reliable and Factual Response Generation: Detecting Unanswerable Questions in Information-seeking Conversations by Weronika Łajewska and Krisztian Balog has been accepted at the 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'24).

December 14, 2023: The paper Estimating the Usefulness of Clarifying Questions and Answers for Conversational Search by Ivan Sekulic, Weronika Łajewska, Krisztian Balog and Fabio Crestani has been accepted at the 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'24).

November 21, 2023: The paper Grounded and Transparent Response Generation for Conversational Information-Seeking Systems by Weronika Łajewska has been accepted to the Doctoral Consortium at the 17th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM'24).

October 25, 2023: The paper Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation by Weronika Łajewska and Krisztian Balog has won the Best Resource Paper Award at the 32nd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '23).

August 6, 2023: The paper Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation by Weronika Łajewska and Krisztian Balog has been accepted at the 32nd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '23). An extended version of the paper is available here.

June 11-17, 2023: I attended International Semantic Web Research Summer School that took place in beautiful Bertinoro in Italy. Thank you to the organizers for this life-changing event!

December 20, 2022: The paper From Baseline to Top Performer: A Reproducibility Study of Approaches at the 2021 TREC Conversational Assistance Track by Weronika Łajewska and Krisztian Balog has been accepted at the 45th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR’23). A preprint is available here.

November 15, 2022: IAI research group participated in TREC 2022 Conversational Assistance Track. The working notes from our submission can be found here. The final report is available here.

July 18-22, 2022: I attended The 13th European Summer School in Information Retrieval held at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Great experience and great people!

Awards

SIGMOD Student Travel Award

WSDM'24 • December 2023

Scholarship award covering the cost of registration and some travel expenses for attending the 17th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.

Best Resource Paper Award

CIKM'23 • October 2023

Weronika Łajewska and Krisztian Balog. 2023. Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation. In Proceedings of the 32nd ACM I nternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 5326–5330. https://doi.org/10.1145/3583780.3615132

Teaching

DAT640-2022

Information Retrieval and Text Mining course, University of Stavanger

Teaching assistant for DAT640-2022

Publications

[submitted] PKG API: A Tool for Personal Knowledge Graph Management

N. Bernard, I. Kostric, W. Łajewska, K. Balog, P. Galuščáková, V. Setty, and M. G. Skjæveland. [preprint, code]

Towards Reliable and Factual Response Generation: Detecting Unanswerable Questions in Information-seeking Conversations

W. Łajewska and K. Balog. In: 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ’24), March 2024 [paper, code]

Estimating the Usefulness of Clarifying Questions and Answers for Conversational Search

I. Sekulic, W. Łajewska, K. Balog and F. Crestani. In: 46th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ’24), March 2024

Grounded and Transparent Response Generation for Conversational Information-Seeking Systems

W. Łajewska. In: 17th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM'24), March 2024 [paper]

Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation

W. Łajewska and K. Balog. In: 32nd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM'23), October 2023 [paper, extended version, code]

An Ecosystem for Personal Knowledge Graphs: A Survey and Research Roadmap

M. G. Skjæveland, K. Balog, N. Bernard, W. Łajewska, and T. Linjordet. [preprint, poster, paper]

From Baseline to Top Performer: A Reproducibility Study of Approaches at the 2021 TREC Conversational Assistance Track

W. Łajewska and K. Balog. In: 45th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ’23), April 2023 [paper, code]

The University of Stavanger (IAI) at the TREC 2022 Conversational Assistance Track

W. Łajewska, N. Bernard, I. Kostric, I. Sekulić, and K. Balog. In: The Thirty-First Text REtrieval Conference (TREC 2022) Proceedings, 2023 [paper]

DAGFiNN: A Conversational Conference Assistant

I. Kostric, K. Balog, T. A. Aresvik, N. Bernard, E. T. Dørheim, P. Hantula, S. Havn-Sørensen, R. Henriksen, H. Hosseini, E. Khlybova, W. Łajewska, S. E. Mosand, and N. Orujova. In: 16th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys ’22), September 2022 [paper, code]

Preparation of Sets and Machine Learning Models for Recognizing Names of Literary Characters

Master thesis supervised by A. Wróblewska

Talks

Grounded and Transparent Response Generation for Conversational Information-Seeking Systems

Presentation of the PhD status during UiS Tech Talk, February 2024 [slides]

Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation

Presentation of the paper by W. Łajewska and K. Balog at the local part of SIGIR-AP'23 Melbourne Hub event, November 2023 [paper, extended version, slides, code]

Grounded and Transparent Response Generation for Conversational Information-Seeking Systems

TIGER talk presenting the CIKM'23 paper by W. Łajewska and K. Balog entitled Towards Filling the Gap in Conversational Search: From Passage Retrieval to Conversational Response Generation, as well as the work done in collaboration with Damiano Spina and Johanne Trippas during the mobility in CIDDA, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, November 2023 [slides]

From Baseline to Top Performer: A Reproducibility Study of Approaches at the 2021 TREC Conversational Assistance Track

Presentation of the paper by W. Łajewska and K. Balog at the 45th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR ’23), April 2023 [paper, slides, code]