About Me

January 19th, 2016

I am currently a member of the fifth cohort of Entrepreneur First looking to build a startup in the area of dynamic user modelling in content credibility and web advertising.

Previously, I completed a PhD in Computer Science at University College London, with a focus on modelling information retrieval as a probabilistic dynamic process. I have international work experience as both a software developer and researcher and my research interests include:

  • Probabilistic Modelling of Information Retrieval
  • Web search click models and user behaviour in session search
  • Dynamic programming and partially observable markov decision processes
  • Multi Armed Bandit theory and reinforcement learning
  • Big Data Web Analytics
  • User Context
  • Applying financial techniques to IR, particularly using portfolio theory in document diversity

My thesis is titled ‘Probabilistic Modelling in Dynamic Information Retrieval’ and concerns the introduction of dynamic elements into probabilistic IR models using a partially observable Markov decision process framework. I have published and presented research on the topics of reinforcement learning algorithms in IR modelling and dynamic IR and I submitted my thesis in August 2015. I will be defending in October 2015.

Read more about my thesis topic Dynamic Information Retrieval Modeling in my recent IRSG Informer article.

Curriculum vitae


  • “Dynamic Information Retrieval Modeling”. H. Yang, M. Sloan, X. Dong and J. Wang, to be published by Morgan & Claypool in the ‘Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts Retrieval and Services’ book series 2016.
  • “Dynamic Information Retrieval: Theory and Application”. M. Sloan and J. Wang, ICTIR 2015. abstract pdf
  • “A Term-Based Methodology for Query Reformulation Understanding”, M. Sloan, H. Yang and J. Wang, Information Retrieval Journal 2015. abstract pdf
  • “Query Suggestion and Data Fusion in Contextual Disambiguation”, M. Shokouhi, M. Sloan, P. Bennett, K. Collins-Thompson and S. Sarkizova, WWW 2015. abstract slides pdf
  • “Dynamic Information Retrieval Modeling” tutorial, H. Yang, M. Sloan and J. Wang, WSDM 2015. abstract slides website
  • “Dynamic Information Retrieval Modeling” tutorial, H. Yang, M. Sloan and J. Wang, SIGIR 2014. abstract slides website
  • “Interactive Exploratory Search for Multi Page Search Results”, X. Jin, M. Sloan and J. Wang, WWW 2013. pdf
  • “Iterative Expectation for Multi Period Information Retrieval”, M. Sloan and J. Wang, Workshop on Web Search Click Data, 2013. pdf
  • “Internet Advertising: An Interplay among Advertisers, Online Publishers, Ad Exchanges and Web Users”, S. Yuan, A. Z. Abidin, M. Sloan and J. Wang, Preprint submitted to Information Processing and Management, 2012. pdf
  • “Dynamical Information Retrieval Modelling: A Portfolio-Armed Bandit Machine Approach”, M. Sloan and J. Wang, WWW 2012 – Poster, 2012. pdf
  • “CAFE: A Modern C++ Interface to the EPICS Channel Access Library”, J. Chrin and M. C. Sloan, ICALEPCS 2011. pdf
  • Here is a video of me giving a talk on “Multi Period Information Retrieval and Optimal Relevance Feedback using Dynamic Programming” at LSOLDM 2012. video


  • Helped create and present a tutorial on my thesis topic “Dynamic Information Retrieval Modeling” at SIGIR 2014 and WSDM 2015.
  • Internship and part-time consultant with Kevyn Collins-Thompson and Paul Bennett at Microsoft Research, Redmond, researching methods for improving search using user context, Apr 2013 – July 2013.
  • Teaching assistant on the Information Retrieval and Data Mining CSML course at UCL, 2012 and 2013, and Introductory Programming and Design Master’s course, 2012.
  • IAESTE summer internship working as a free electron laser software developer at the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen, Switzerland, Jun 2010 – Sep 2010.
  • Year in industry as a media content analysis researcher at the Civil Service in Cheltenham, Sep 2008 – Sep 2009
  • Part time and summer software developer for architectural software company Integrated Environmental Solutions in Glasgow, 2006 – 2010.


  • MRes (Distinction) in Financial Computing, UCL, 2011.
  • BEng (1st Class Honours) in Computer Science with Prof. Experience, Queen’s University Belfast, 2010 where I was awarded the British Computer Society prize for achieving the highest average marks in the final honours examinations at Queen’s.


  • Check out my Facebook/London Underground mash-up The Social Underground and its code over at GitHub.
  • I am actively involved in the London IAESTE branch and spent a year as its President.
  • Festival volunteering with Oxfam
  • I am an award winning amateur photographer
  • I am also a self-taught guitarist
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