Review of MSR-Bing Web Scale Speller Challenge

Kuansan Wang and Jan Pedersen, Microsoft


In this paper, we provide an overview of the MSR-Bing Web Scale Speller Challenge of 2011. We describe the motivation and outline the algorithmic and engineering challenges posed by this activity. The design and the evaluation methods are also reviewed, and the online resources that will remain publicly available to the community are also described. The Challenge will culminate in a workshop after the time of the writing where the top prize winners will publish their approaches. The main findings and the lessons learned will be summarized and shared in the Industry Track presentation accompanying this paper.


Kuansan Wang is a Principal Researcher and group manager at Internet Service Research Center at Microsoft Research (MSR) Redmond where he is conducting research in web search and data mining. Prior to his current position, he was a software architect at Speech Product and Incubation group where he was responsible for commercializing speech technologies into Microsoft products, including Microsoft Speech Server, Response Point and several versions of speech API for desktop and mobile devices. He also represented Microsoft to international standard setting bodies in the area of speech technology, contributing to three W3C, 4 ECMA, and 3 ISO standards. His research interests include spoken and multimodal dialog, speech recognition, language understanding, and statistical analysis of nonlinear systems.
Jan Pedersen is currently Chief Scientist for Core Search at Microsoft. Pedersen began his career at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) where he managed a research program on information access technologies. In 1996 he joined Verity (recently purchased by Autonomy) to manage their advanced technology program. In 1998 Dr. Pedersen joined Infoseek/Go Network, a first generation Internet search engine, as Director of Search and Spidering. In 2002 he joined Alta Vista as Chief Scientist. Alta Vista has later acquired by Yahoo!, where Dr. Pedersen served as Chief Scientist for the Search and Advertising Technology Group. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Pedersen was Chief Scientist at A9, an Amazon company.

Dr. Pedersen holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Stanford University and a AB in Statistics from Princeton University. He is credited with more than ten issued patents and has authored more than twenty refereed publications on information access topics, seven of which are in the Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) proceedings.