CMPUT361 is a graded third-year undergraduate course on Foundations of Information Retrieval. The prerequisites for the course are CMPUT201, CMPUT204, and MATH125.

Learning Objectives

Most of the knowledge acquired, used, and shared by humans (and sometimes machines) is expressed in natural language, and preserved as primarily textual documents. This course introduces the fundamental algorithms and data structures for organizing and searching through large collections of documents, and the techniques for evaluating the quality of search results. The course also covers practical Machine Learning algorithms that apply to text and foundational technologies used by Web search engines.


  • Boolean retrieval
  • Ranked retrieval
  • Index construction
  • Evaluating search effectiveness
  • Relevance feedback
  • Probabilistic IR and Retrieval with Language Models
  • Text clustering and classification
  • Web search

Required Textbook: Introduction to Information Retrieval, By Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan & Hinrich Schütze © 2008 Cambridge University Press. Website: