MICES 2020

Mix-camp E-commerce Search

When

7th - 12th June 2020

Where

Online event

The MICES 2020 programme is available online now!

See here for MICES sessions or check out the full schedule of the joint MICES/Haystack/Berlin Buzzwords virtual event at https://berlinbuzzwords.de/schedule!

MICES 2020 - Joining hands with Berlin Buzzwords and Haystack!

Join us 7th-12th June for an amazing joint virtual conference!

We are very excited to announce that we have teamed up with Haystack - the search relevance conference, and Berlin Buzzwords to host a week of virtual talks, panel discussions, workshops and training sessions covering themes of e-commerce search, general search, scale, store and stream!

To be held between 7th-12th June 2020, this collaboration will bring together the best of the planned sessions from three annual conferences postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 and make them available across the world. We hope to support our three communities and to bring them together to share knowledge, expertise and experiences.

About MICES

When we started MICES in 2017, e-commerce search used to receive little attention. It was less established than search in other domains, such as enterprise search or general web search.

On the other hand, it has always been a very exciting domain with a lot of challenges. That's why we started MICES as an informal one-day event to bring together experts of different backgrounds - such as IT, product managers, UX designers, search managers, information retrieval specialists, data scientists, search engine vendors - to discuss challenges, ideas, best practices, and case studies in the e-commerce search domain.

Much has changed since 2017 and e-commerce search has gained a lot of momentum. The e-commerce search community will meet at MICES 2020 to discuss their insights in this fascinating and rapidly developing domain.

Format

MICES brings together participants from a variety of backgrounds, all sharing a common interest in e-commerce search. This year's event will combine online formats, like talks, panel discussions, workshops, and trainings. Stay tuned - details to follow very soon!

Topics

The workshop welcomes all topics related to e-commerce search. We have compiled a list of topics that will probably feature at the workshop. This list is not comprehensive. Participants are welcome to discuss further topics at the workshop.

  • Managing e-commerce search: finding the right process and organisation for it, and how does it change over time?
  • How can we measure and improve search quality for e-commerce?
  • What are the best search relevance models for e-commerce search?
  • Personalised e-commerce search
  • Choosing the right search technology and search management tools
  • From keyword search to virtual shopping assistants: designing the e-commerce search user experience
  • Exploring artificial intelligence, visual and voice search for e-commerce
  • How to deal with poor data quality in e-commerce search

Past events

Registration & Tickets

 

MICES is joining hands with Berlin Buzzwords and Haystack - the search relevance conference to host a week of virtual talks, panel discussions, workshops and trainings.

For only 49€ you get access to all talks from MICES, Haystack and Berlin Buzzwords, and to the "hallway track", where you can meet other attendees and speakers online, exchange ideas and network.

Please follow this link to purchase your ticket: https://berlinbuzzwords.de/tickets

An overview of the deep-dive workshops, training sessions and tutorials that we will also be hosting will be available soon. Seats for some of these workshops are limited, and there is an additional fee for registering.

Programme

 

All times in Central European Summer Time (GMT+2, Berlin).
The calendar only lists MICES sessions. Make sure to check out the full schedule at berlinbuzzwords.de/schedule for Berlin Buzzwords and Haystack sessions on 7th-12th June.

16:00 - 20:00

Building trusting connections - the role of emotions in personalized e‑commerce search - Workshop

Angel Maldonado & Andreas Wagenmann Empathy.co / Sergej Spomer Edenspiekermann

Note that this workshop requires separate registration (free) in addition to your standard event ticket as the number of participants will be limited!

When looking at personalised e-commerce search, questions on data ethics, privacy and trust come into play. Trust may be regarded as the most important feeling that any search shall aspire to elicit in its users, and trusting search, regardless of its sophistication, is what this workshop is about.

Join a group of designers, developers and data scientists to architect and design a personalised commerce search that is conceived to evoke trust in its users.

See here for more workshop details, or go directly to the registration (free registration in addition to your standard event ticket).

Ángel Maldonado has spent the last 20 years passionately developing and executing eCommerce Search and Navigation solutions. Having studied Computer Information Systems at Liverpool University, Angel started his career working for Autonomy before founding EmpathyBroker. He also recently spent a short period seconded to Rich Relevance’s Exec team to help them develop and advance their new search offering (Find). At Empathy.co, Angel drives forward the product vision, innovation and ethos of creating a company with truly organic values. Angel is an evangelist and enthusiastic blogger who regularly speaks at industry events. He likes to explore the future of Commerce search, placing the importance on people, their emotions and unpredictability rather than data and processes to create experiences that generate an emotional connection. A keen sea sport enthusiast, Angel plays the guitar and enjoys poetry and meditation. He’s lived in the US, Spain and the UK, and now splits his time between London and Gijon (Asturias).

Andreas is a senior developer and search/data specialist at Empathy, passionate about creating grand search experiences. He graduated from Saarland University with MSc in Bioinformatics after studies in Germany and abroad, spanning the fields of physics, computer science, AI and psychology. Also holds a BSc in psychology. He has many years of experience as developer/search specialist in the e-commerce field, previously as part of the Otto.de search team. Also interested in ML, NLP, CL, functional and concurrent programming.

Sergej a strategic designer and developer working at the intersection between UX Design and Technology. Focused on making complex products scalable and user-centred. Next to his work at Edenspiekermann as an UX & Interaction Designer he explores new interaction patters for decentralised applications to help people regain ownership over their data online. Currently trying to help formulate and establish new design patterns and principles for distributed apps and services.

16:30 - 17:00
17:00 - 17:40

From commercial search to owned search

Jesus de los Bueis Carrefour Spain / Borja Santaolalla Empathy.co

Carrefour started the journey of digital transformation 6 years ago, transforming the e-commerce business into an omnichannel business using an “all in one” e-commerce platform where Search was one more piece of the puzzle.

In time, Carrefour technical team realized that through an open and flexible Search solution, the e-commerce platform could be constructed around it, making Search (and Navigation) the core as opposed to an add-on or an element on the periphery.

This approach, at first, implied several challenges, from strategic to technical ones:

  • What options do we have? Use a SaaS solution, build a search from scratch, Base our search in an existing solution, Look for a partner to help us to build it…
  • How can we keep the intellectual property and the know-how inside the company?
  • What experience do we want to offer to our customers?
  • How can we deal with a huge assortment of products from different natures and stores?
  • What insights do we expect to take form the search to help our business?
  • How do we know whether the search is performing well?
  • What strategy do we have to follow for replacement the old search engine keeping, at the same time, the rest of the “all in one” e-commerce platform?
  • How do we develop it and deploy it into production?
  • How do we evolve it?

Jesus de los Bueis started his career as a developer focused on content management and e-commerce platforms. During the last 5 years he has been taking the role of software development manager for e-commerce of Carrefour Spain where he’s in charge of the technical teams and the strategy to modernize the Carrefour’s e-commerce platform for Spain. With a long experience in brick and mortar retailers, he tries to combine this knowledge with his passion of software development and open source technologies.

Borja has been leading search related projects in e-commerce for more than 15 years. Zara, Carrefour, ToysRus, Kroger among the most recent ones. Following product roles, he is currently Customer Chief at @Empathy, helping brands connect with their consumers through emotive and irresistible search & discovery experience design. Based in London, reach him on @borjasant.

17:50 - 18:30

Neural Search in Practice

Daniel Weinland & Maximlian Werk Zalando

Over the last two years we have developed a Neural IR model for complementing the traditional search system of a large fashion e-commerce company. The ML model has been rolled out in 16 countries and is used for increasing recall of low-result queries as well as for query-dependent ranking powering 20% of traffic today.

In this talk we will present the different stages of the model development, the feature representations we have chosen, how we generate massive amounts of training data, and how we manage the tradeoff between learning from big data and staying efficient. We will demonstrate the use cases and present successful results from offline and online testing.

Daniel is a Data Scientist and Engineer at Zalando working on the query understanding and information retrieval pipeline of Zalando’s search. Originally pursuing a PhD in computer vision, he has almost two decades of academic and industrial experience in machine learning and its application to real world problems, including such topics as search, time series analysis, natural language understanding, and healthcare. Currently he is in particular excited about Neural IR.

Maximilian is a Research Engineer at Zalando, always happy to contribute to the informational retrieval pipeline and the neural search. He graduated at the TU Berlin with MSc of Mathematics focusing on Combinatorial Optimization and Operational Research. Maximilian joined Zalando in the pricing department and contributed heavily bringing a prototype of a pricing engine live. After working abroad and strengthening his engineering skills at the Dublin office, he joined the Berlin based Search department of Zalando. His main passion is about writing and refactoring ML algorithms in production in order to have a functional and well maintainable system.

18:40 - 19:20

Solving the E-Commerce Search Challenge: An effective and lasting approach based on the foryouandyourcustomers' Exploded View model

Fabian Engeln foryouandyourcustomers

Companies today are challenged in many different ways to provide a conclusive e-commerce search: in understanding constantly changing customer requirements and translating them to a holistic solution consisting of channels, organisation, processes, systems and data. But how can the multi-layered challenges of search be overcome and the associated opportunities exploited?

The Exploded View model from foryouandyourcustomers provides answers to these questions. It has been continuously refined and has been proven in practice. The many possible uses of the Exploded View have shown that it can present and explain decisive interrelations for the development of an organisation and that the people involved – from managers to employees with little involvement – receive an overall picture that supports them in digital and analog change.

Fabian works as Senior Search Consultant at foryouandyourcustomers. With an academic background in Engineering and Marketing, he started an international career whilst gaining experience at global manufacturers and retailers in multiple industries. After having lived in China, Russia and Sweden, he now combines his fluency in Mandarin Chinese and Russian with technical and business expertise in Search and Merchandising solutions to deliver consulting projects.

19:30 - 21:30

Towards an open source tool stack for e-commerce search - Workshop

Eric Pugh OpenSource Connections / Johannes Peter MediaMarktSaturn / Paul M. Bartusch Freelancer / René Kriegler Freelancer

More and more search teams in the e-commerce space want to own their search: they want to understand how exactly the retrieval works and optimise it according to their specific needs, both from the user and from the seller perspective. Implementing search using open source search engines, such as Solr and Elasticsearch, seems like a perfect match.

Unfortunately, the open source solutions out of the box aren’t anywhere near reaching parity with a commercial solution, especially when it comes to optimizing search relevance and managing individual queries as a merchandiser.

In this session we will introduce an initiative to combine open source tools and libraries like Querqy (query rewriting, for Solr and Elasticsearch), SMUI (search management), Quepid and RRE (search relevance assessment and tuning) into a project template to accelerate the development of your own e-commerce search, allowing you to shift from setting up basic search functionality to domain specific optimisations a lot faster.

Join the creators and maintainers of these open source tools to discuss how we can build a powerful and freely available platform for testing and tuning e-commerce search.

This session does not require separate registration - your standard conference ticket will get you in.

Fascinated by the craft of software development, Eric Pugh has been involved in the open source world as a developer, committer and user for the past fifteen years. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation and continues to be very active in the Solr and Tika projects, as well as avidly reads every commit to the Zeppelin project! In biotech, financial services, and defense IT, he has helped European and American companies develop coherent strategies for embracing open source software. Eric became involved in Solr when he submitted the patch SOLR-284 for extracting text from binary files (such as PDF and MS Office formats), that subsequently became the single most popular patch as measured by votes! He co-authored the book Apache Solr Enterprise Search Server, now on its third edition. Today he helps OSC’s clients build their own search teams and improve their search maturity, both by leading projects and by acting as a trusted advisor.

Johannes works as a Solution Architect for the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group. As an expert for Search, NLP & AI, he is engaged to lead the development of a new search solution for all saleslines across Europe, as well as to drive innovations to automate business processes. Furthermore, he is a committer for querqy, an open source query rewriting plugin for Solr and Elasticsearch used by various big ecommerce companies across the world.

Paul is a freelance consultant in the e-commerce domain. He supports his clients as product manager, Scrum product owner and business development consultant, focussing on search (onsite, SEO/SEA), mobile and responsive application development, and agile transitioning. He is maintainer of SMUI (https://github.com/pbartusch/smui) - a search management UI for open source search solutions like Solr.

René has been working as a freelance search consultant for clients in Germany and abroad for more than ten years. Although he is interested in all aspects of search and NLP, key areas include search relevance and e-commerce search. His technological focus is on Solr/Elasticsearch/Lucene. René is founder and co-organiser of MICES (Mix-Camp E-Commerce Search - a Berlin Buzzwords partner event). He maintains Querqy - an open source library for query pre-processing.

This is a joint MICES and Haystack session.

21:30 - ca. 22:15

Lightning Talks and Social

Hosted by Atita Arora MyToys

Join us for a session of lightning talks and networking!

Do you have a five-minute talk you could give? Maybe a crazy new idea, a project you'd like to introduce, a brief getting started guide or a proposal? Sign up here and we'll be in touch!

Atita has been working on developing, customizing, and optimizing Enterprise Ecommerce Search engines for 11 years and has been working intensively in Solr. She specializes in building the index pipelines and recommendation models. She has worked with companies like RichRelevance, Lucidworks, MonsterJobs. She is currently working as Senior Search Engineer at MyToys Gmbh, Berlin, and has a keen interest in personalizing search and influencing customer interaction using NLP, ML, and AI.

19:10 - 21:10

Mixing and Matching: Diversifying Search Results - Panel

Andreas Wagner CXP Commerce Experts / Felipe Besson OLX Group / Lev Gershenzon Detectum / hosted by Doug Turnbull OpenSource Connections

Imagine a shopper searches for "coffee". The search results mindlessly repeat brand name, ground coffee over and over. Technically relevant. But not very useful. Not mixed in are results appealing to a different kind of "coffee" searcher: organic coffee, whole bean, espresso, or related coffee equipment.

Beyond relevant results is Result Set Diversity: providing not just technically correct answers, but a diverse (though still relevant) view of what's possible in the search system. Showing our grocery searcher that we might, after all, have something they want.

In this panel, we'll discuss Result Set Diversity in search. We'll hear from teams working to summarize for users the diverse array of options available to them given their query. An ideal search experience helps provide next steps, broaden the user's understanding of the content related to keywords, and cover the user's possible, unspoken intent.

Join host Doug Turnbull and search practitioners, Andreas Wagner, Felipe Besson, and Lev Gershenzon, as we hear experiences measuring and solving Results Diversity, with a panel discussion on the Result Search Diversity problem.

Andreas has been building and optimizing search engines for almost 13 years. He worked for FACT-Finder and Fredhopper in the past and is co-Founder & CTO at CXP Commerce Experts & searchhub. Andy’s experience includes engineering a variety of search, learning-to-rank, learning-to-diversify, natural language processing & understanding applications for a variety of customers and languages.

Felipe Besson has been working with search and recommendations in the last 7 years. In his professional journey, he has worked as Software, Data and Machine Learning Engineer. Currently, he is a Senior Relevance Engineer in the Discovery team of OLX Group in Berlin. He is very passionate about applying and combining Machine Learning and out-of-the-box Search Engines features to improve search relevance and recommendations.

For over fifteen years Lev has been working as a team leader and product owner on various projects in the field of natural language processing and search. He was the head of news aggregation service and vertical search at Yandex, and after leaving the company six years ago founded Detectum, a SaaS provider of search recommendations and navigation solutions for e-commerce companies. Lev holds a master's degree in theoretical and applied linguistics of the Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow.

In 2012, Doug saw relevant search would be central to client's customer experiences. Sadly, search relevance was a topic clouded esoteric mystery. Doug began to democratize this daunting field through blogging and speaking. In 2016, Doug's book “Relevant Search” woke the industry up to the importance of search quality. Doug now helps clients navigate their hardest search challenges. He leads the charge into new tools and techniques: pioneering Elasticsearch Learning to Rank, and contributing to Trey Grainger's upcoming AI Powered Search, all with an eye to humanizing up a field increasingly central to every application's customer experience.

This is a joint MICES and Haystack session

21:20 - ca. 22:05

Lightning Talks and Social

Hosted by Charlie Hull OpenSource Connnections

Join us for another round of lightning talks and networking!

Do you have a five-minute talk you could give? Maybe a crazy new idea, a project you'd like to introduce, a brief getting started guide or a proposal? Sign up here and we'll be in touch!

Charlie Hull keeps a strategic view on developments in the search industry and is in demand as a speaker at conferences across the world. Charlie writes regularly on search issues and runs the London Lucene/Solr Meetup. Charlie co-founded Flax in 2001, the UK’s leading open source search company and now part of OpenSource Connections. Charlie co-authored Searching the Enterprise with Professor Udo Kruschwitz of the University of Essex, part of the Foundations and Trends® in Information Retrieval series published by Now Publications. The book was reviewed by Martin White of Intranet Focus who said “There are of course many books on information retrieval… but Searching the Enterprise is in a class of its own”. Charlie is also a member of the Search Network, an independent group of search professionals who release regular free reports on search issues.

This is a joint MICES and Haystack session

14:00 - 21:00

E-commerce Search for Product Managers - Workshop [€]

Sebastian Russ Tudock / Eric Pugh OpenSource Connections / Introdction by René Kriegler Freelancer

Note that this workshop is not included in your standard ticket and requires separate registration[€]! Registration will open very soon - click here for the ticket shop

The positive feedback from our first class at MICES 2019 encouraged us to offer the class again for the Buzzwords/Haystack/MICES remote event. The first class had fantastic attendees from top e-commerce companies and resulted in great conversations and exchange of ideas.

This full day remote class helps you understand how deploying great onsite search for e-commerce requires different thinking than other engineering problems (and even other search problems). We teach you to measure search quality, take a hypothesis-driven approach to search projects, and safely 'fail fast' towards ever improving business KPIs.

  • What is search? How is e-commerce search special?
  • Holding search accountable to the business
  • Search quality feedback
  • Hypothesis-driven relevance tuning to drive product matching
  • Using analytics & clicks to understand search quality and your users needs

Your class will be taught in English by Eric Pugh and Sebastian Russ with a brief introduction by René Kriegler.

Sebastian is Product Manager Search at Tudock and is well grounded in search technologies as Solr, FACT-Finder and Fredhopper. Analyzing search behaviour and optimizing search configuration is his daily business. His main focus is on supporting e-commerce clients to setup search management workflows to improve search result quality, frontend usability and KPIs. Tudock has a diverse client list from specialized B2B shops to international omnichannel B2C retailers with hundreds of thousands of searches a day.

Fascinated by the craft of software development, Eric Pugh has been involved in the open source world as a developer, committer and user for the past fifteen years. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation and continues to be very active in the Solr and Tika projects, as well as avidly reads every commit to the Zeppelin project! In biotech, financial services, and defense IT, he has helped European and American companies develop coherent strategies for embracing open source software. Eric became involved in Solr when he submitted the patch SOLR-284 for extracting text from binary files (such as PDF and MS Office formats), that subsequently became the single most popular patch as measured by votes! He co-authored the book Apache Solr Enterprise Search Server, now on its third edition. Today he helps OSC’s clients build their own search teams and improve their search maturity, both by leading projects and by acting as a trusted advisor.

René has been working as a freelance search consultant for clients in Germany and abroad for more than ten years. Although he is interested in all aspects of search and NLP, key areas include search relevance and e-commerce search. His technological focus is on Solr/Elasticsearch/Lucene. René is founder and co-organiser of MICES (Mix-Camp E-Commerce Search - a Berlin Buzzwords partner event). He maintains Querqy - an open source library for query pre-processing.

Organisers & Partners

René Kriegler

René has been working as a search consultant for clients in Germany and abroad for more than ten years. Although he is interested in all aspects of search, key areas include search relevance consulting, e-commerce search and Apache Solr/Lucene. René maintains the Querqy open source library.

Paul Maria Bartusch

Paul is a freelance consultant in the e-commerce domain. He supports his client as product manager, Scrum product owner and business development consultant, focussing on search (onsite, SEO/SEA), mobile and responsive application development, and agile transitioning.

Berlin Buzzwords

MICES is partnering with Berlin Buzzwords and takes place on the day after the main conference. See here for information and tickets.

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