TREC Tracks

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A TREC workshop consists of a set tracks, areas of focus in which particular retrieval tasks are defined. The tracks serve several purposes. First, tracks act as incubators for new research areas: the first running of a track often defines what the problem really is, and a track creates the necessary infrastructure (test collections, evaluation methodology, etc.) to support research on its task. The tracks also demonstrate the robustness of core retrieval technology in that the same techniques are frequently appropriate for a variety of tasks. Finally, the tracks make TREC attractive to a broader community by providing tasks that match the research interests of more groups.

Each track has a mailing list. The primary purpose of the mailing list is to discuss the details of the track's tasks in the current TREC. However, a track mailing list also serves as a place to discuss general methodological issues related to the track's retrieval tasks. Further, some tracks have track-specific web pages that provide history and background material regarding the track's focus. Thus, this page lists contact information for all the TREC tracks, whether or not the track is scheduled to be run in the current TREC. TREC track mailing lists are open to all; you need not participate in TREC to join a list. Most lists do require that you become a member of the list before you can send a message to it.

The set of tracks that will be run in a given year of TREC is determined by the TREC program committee. The committee has established a procedure for proposing new tracks.


2014 TREC Tracks


  • Clinical Decision Support Track The clinical decision support track investigates techniques for linking medical cases to information relevant for patient care.
    Track Web Page:
    http://www.trec-cds.org/
    Mailing list:
    http://groups.google.com/d/forum/trec-cds

  • Contextual Suggestion Track
    The Contextual Suggestion track investigates search techniques for complex information needs that are highly dependent on context and user interests.
    Track Web Page:
    http://sites.google.com/site/treccontext/
    Mailing list:
    Send a mail message to listproc (at) nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-context <FirstName> <LastName>

  • Federated Web Search Track
    The Federated Web Search track investigates techniques for the selection and combination of search results from a large number of real on-line web search services.
    Track Web Page:
    http://sites.google.com/site/trecfedweb/
    Mailing list:
    http://groups.google.com/group/trec-fedweb


  • Knowledge Base Acceleration Track
    This track looks to develop techniques to dramatically improve the efficiency of (human) knowledge base curators by having the system suggest modifications/extensions to the KB based on its monitoring of the data streams.
    Track Web Page:
    http://trec-kba.org/
    Track Mailing List: http://groups.google.com/group/trec-kba

  • Microblog Track
    The Microblog track examines the nature of real-time information needs and their satisfaction in the context of microblogging environments such as Twitter. Track Web Page: https://github.com/lintool/twitter-tools/wiki
    Mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/trec-microblog

  • Session Track
    The Session track aims to provide the necessary resources in the form of test collections to simulate user interaction and help evaluate th e utility of an IR system over a sequence of queries and user interactions, rather than for a single "one-shot" query.
    Track Web Page: http://ir.cis.udel.edu/sessions
    Mailing list: Use the link given on the track web page to join the email list.

  • Temporal Summarization Track
    The goal of the Temporal Summarization track is to develop systems that allow users to efficiently monitor the information associated with an event over time.
    Track Web Page:
    http://www.trec-ts.org/


  • Web Track
    The Web track explores Web-specific retrieval tasks, including diversity and efficiency tasks, over collections of up to one billion Web pages.
    Track Web Page: http://www.umich.edu/~kevynct/trec-web-2014
    Mailing list: Send a mail message to listproc (at) nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-web <FirstName> <LastName>

    Past TREC Tracks


    • Blog Track
      The purpose of the blog track is to explore information seeking behavior in the blogosphere. The Blog Track was last run in TREC 2010.
      Mailing list: send a mail message to listproc (at) nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-blog <FirstName> <LastName>

    • Chemical IR Track
      The Chemical IR track addresses challenges in building large chemical testbeds to evaluate, in a realistic scenario, the state of the art in chemical information retrieval and extraction tools. The Chemical IR Track was last run in TREC 2011.
      Track Web Page:
      wiki.ir-facility.org/index.php/TREC_Chemistry_Track
      Mailing list:
      submit a request to subscribe to the trec-chem (at) @ir-facility.org mailing list using the form at: https://wiki.ir-facility.org/index.php/Mailing_List_Archives

    • Cross-Language Track
      A track that investigates the ability of retrieval systems to find documents that pertain to a topic regardless of the language in which the document is written.
      While the last cross-language track in TREC was run in TREC 2002, cross-language retrieval tasks are studied at both CLEF (Cross-Language Evaluation Forum) and the NTCIR (NII Test Collection for IR Systems) Project.

    • Crowdsourcing Track
      The Crowdsourcing track investigated emerging crowd-based methods for search evaluation and/or developing hybrid automation+crowd search systems. It last ran in TREC 2013.
      Track Web Page: https://sites.google.com/site/treccrowd

    • Enterprise Track
      The purpose of the enterprise track is to study enterprise search: satisfying a user who is searching the data of an organization to complete some task.
      Mailing list: send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-ent <FirstName> <LastName>

    • Entity Track
      The overall aim of this track is to perform entity-oriented search tasks in the World Wide Web. These tasks are better answered by returning specific objects instead of just any type document. The Entity Track was last run in TREC 2011.
      Track Web Page: http://ilps.science.uva.nl/trec-entity/
      Mailing list: visit http://groups.google.com/group/trec-entity to apply for membership.

    • Filtering Track
      A task in which the user's information need is stable (and some relevant documents are known) but there is a stream of new documents. For each document, the system must make a binary decision as to whether the document should be retrieved (as opposed to forming a ranked list).
      Mailing list: send a mail message to lyris@list.research.microsoft.com such that the body consists of the line subscribe trecfiltering <FirstName> <LastName>
      The filtering track was last run in TREC 2002.

    • Genomics Track
      The purpose of the track was to study retrieval tasks in a specific domain, where the domain of interest is genomics data (broadly construed to include not just gene sequences but also supporting documentation such as research papers, lab reports, etc.). The Genomics track last ran in TREC 2007.
      Genomics Track webpage

    • HARD Track
      The goal of HARD is to achieve High Accuracy Retrieval from Documents by leveraging additional information about the searcher and/or the search context, through techniques such as passage retrieval and using very targeted interaction with the searcher. The hard track last ran in TREC 2005.
      HARD Track webpage includes details regarding how to join the HARD track mailing list.

    • Interactive Track
      A track studying user interaction with text retrieval systems. Participating groups develop a consensus experimental protocol and carry out studies with real users using a common collection and set of user queries. The interactive track last ran as an adjunct to the Web Track in TREC 2003.
      Mailing list: Contact Ross.Wilkinson@csiro.au to be added to the list.
      Interactive Track webpage

    • Legal Track
      The goal of the legal track is to develop search technology that meets the needs of lawyers to engage in effective discovery in digital document collections. The legal track last ran in TREC 2012.
      Track Web Page: http://trec-legal.umiacs.umd.edu
      Mailing list: Contact oard (at) umd.edu to be added to the list.

    • Medical Records Track
      The goal of the Medical Records track is to foster research on providing content-based access to the free-text fields of electronic medical records. The medical track last ran in TREC 2012.
      Mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/trec-med

    • Million Query Track
      The goal of the "million query" track is to test the hypothesis that a test collection built from very many very incompletely judged topics is a better tool than a collection built using traditional TREC pooling. The Million Query track was last run in TREC 2009.
      Mailing list: Follow the instructions given on the track web page to join the email list million (at) cs.umass.edu
      Million Query Track web page

    • Novelty Track
      A track to investigate systems' abilities to locate new (i.e., non-redundant) information. This track last ran in TREC 2004.
      Mailing list: send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-novelty
      <FirstName> <LastName>

    • Question Answering Track
      A track designed to take a step closer to information retrieval rather than document retrieval. The QA track last ran in 2007.
      Mailing list: Send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line
      subscribe trec-qa <FirstName> <LastName>
      QA Track webpage

    • Relevance Feedback Track
      The goal of the relevance feedback track is to provide a framework for exploring the effects of different factors on the success of relevance feedback.
      Track Web Page: http://groups.google.com/group/trec-relfeed
      Mailing list: follow the instructions given on the track web page to join the email list.

    • Robust Retrieval Track
      A track that includes a traditional ad hoc retrieval task task, but with the focus on individual topic effectiveness rather than average effectiveness. This track was discontinued after TREC 2005, but the "geometric MAP" measure that resulted from the track is included in trec_eval (.gz) and will be used in other ad hoc tasks.
      Mailing list: send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe robust <FirstName> <LastName>

    • SPAM Track
      The goal of the SPAM track is to provide a standard evaluation of current and proposed spam filtering approaches, thereby laying the foundation for the evaluation of more general email filtering and retrieval tasks. The SPAM track last ran in TREC 2007.
      Mailing list: Send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trecspam <FirstName> <LastName>

    • Terabyte Track
      The purpose of the terabyte track is to investigate whether/how the IR community can scale traditional IR test-collection-based evaluation to significantly larger document collections than those currently used in TREC. This track last ran in 2006.
      Mailing list: send a mail message to listproc@nist.gov such that the body consists of the line subscribe trec-tb <FirstName> <LastName>
      Terabyte Track webpage

    • Video Track
      TREC 2001 and 2002 contained a video track devoted to research in automatic segmentation, indexing, and content-based retrieval of digital video. Beginning in 2003, the track became an independent evaluation (TRECVID).
      TRECVID homepage


The TREC Conference series is co-sponsored by the NIST Information Technology Laboratory's (ITL)
Retrieval Group of the
Information Access Division (IAD)
Contact us at: trec (at) nist.gov


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Last updated: Thursday, 10-Apr-2014 14:18:19 EDT
Date created: Tuesday, 17-Dec-02
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