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From Han Jiang <>
Subject Can we use TREC data set in open source?
Date Tue, 10 Sep 2013 02:53:02 GMT
Back in 2007 Grant contacted with NIST about making TREC collection
available to our community:

I think a try for this is really important to our project and people who
use Lucene. All these years the speed performance is mainly tuned on
Wikipedia, however it's not very 'standard':

* it doesn't represent how real-world search works;
* it cannot be used to evaluate the relevance of our scoring models;
* researchers tend to do experiments on other data sets, and usually it is
  hard to know whether Lucene performs its best performance;

And personally I agree with this line:

> I think it would encourage Lucene users/developers to think about
> relevance as much as we think about speed.

There's been much work to make Lucene's scoring models pluggable in 4.0,
and it'll be great if we can explore more about it. It is very appealing to
see a high-performance library work along with state-of-the-art ranking

And about TREC data set, the problems we met are:

1. NIST/TREC does not own the original collections, therefore it might be
   necessary to have direct contact with those organizations who really did,
   such as:

2. Currently, there is no open-source license for any of the data sets, so
   it won't be as 'open' as Wikipedia is.

   As is proposed by Grant, a possibility is to make the data set accessible
   only to committers instead of all users. It is not very open-source then,
   but TREC data sets is public and usually available to researchers, so
   people can still reproduce performance test.

I'm quite curious, has anyone explored getting an open-source license for
one of those data sets? And is our community still interested about this
issue after all these years?

Han Jiang

Team of Search Engine and Web Mining,
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science,
Peking University, China

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