The title of this blog is “Information Retrieval Gupf”. I’ll wager that more than a few of you are wondering what a Gupf is.
Gupf is an Austrian slang/dialect form of the high German word “Gipfel”, which means “peak” or “summit”, as on a mountain. My idea for naming the blog “Information Retrieval Gupf” was to have a place where interested researchers and search observers can gather, survey, and discuss information retrieval from a useful vantage point: somewhere tall where you can get a good overview of what is happening.
However, lest everyone think that this blog title is a bit too pretentious — as if I were saying that I am somehow more capable of leading expeditions to the peak than any of the dozens and hundreds of bloggers and researchers working in the information retrieval space — let me clarify the manner in which Gupf is used in daily Austrian language. Gupf is almost always used in conjunction with the word “Schlagobers”, or whipped cream. As in, “I’d like a gupf of whipped cream on my cocoa” or “This strudl would really go well with a gupf of whipped cream”.
So if there is any peak onto which I claim to be leading any grand expeditions, the mountain underneath is naught but a bit of hot chocolate or pastry. And even then, it is a tenuous and frothy peak, to be sure. Then again, that is what information retrieval is. The core concept in IR is relevance, which is essentially “what people want”. And what could be more tenuous and frothy than that?