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Computer Science

Information Retrieval

A curated list of awesome information retrieval resources

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Curated list of information retrieval and web search resources from all around the web.


Information Retrieval involves finding relevant information for user queries, ranging from simple domain of database search to complicated aspects of web search (Eg - Google, Bing, Yahoo). Currently, researchers are developing algorithms to address Information Need of user(s), by maximizing User and Topic Relevance of retrieved results, while minimizing Information Overload and retrieval time.


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  • Apache Lucene - Open Source Search Engine that can be used to test Information Retrieval Algorithm. Twitter uses this core for its real-time search.
  • The Lemur Project - The Lemur Project develops search engines, browser toolbars, text analysis tools, and data resources that support research and development of information retrieval and text mining software.
    • Indri Search Engine - Another Open Source Search Engine competitor of Apache Lucene.
    • Lemur Toolkit - Open Source Toolkit for research in Language Modeling, filtering and categorization.


Standard IR Collections

  • DBPedia - Linked data web.
  • Cranfield Collections - This is one of the first collections in IR domain, however the dataset is too small for any statistical significance analysis, but is nevertheless suitable for pilot runs.
  • TREC Collections - TREC is the benchmark dataset used by most IR and Web search algorithms. It has several tracks, each of which consists of dataset to test for a specific task. The tracks along with suggested use-case are:
    • Blog - Explore information seeking behavior in the blogosphere.
    • Chemical IR - Address challenges in building large chemical testbeds for chemical IR.
    • Clinical Decision Support - Investigate techniques to link medical cases to information relevant for patient care.
    • Confusion - Study Known Item Searching problem.
    • Contextual Suggestion - Investigate search techniques for complex information needs (context and user interests based).
    • Crowdsourcing - Explore crowdsourcing methods for performing and evaluating search.
    • Enterprise - Study search over the organization data.
    • Entity - Perform entity-related search (find entities and their properties) on Web data.
    • Filtering - Binarily decide retrieval of new incoming documents given a stable information need.
    • Federated Web Search - Study merge performance for results from various search services.
    • Genomics - Study retrieval efficiency of genomics data and corresponding documentation.
    • HARD - Obtain High Accuracy Retrieval from Documents by leveraging searcher's context.
    • Interactive Track - Study user interaction with text retrieval systems.
    • Knowledge base acceleration - Study algorithms that improve efficiency of human Knowledge Base.
    • Legal Track - Study retrieval systems that have high recall for legal documents use case.
    • Medical Track - Explore unstructured search performance over patients record data.
    • Microblog Track - Examine satisfaction of real-time information need for microblogging sites.
    • Million Query Track - Explore ad-hoc retrieval over large set of queries.
    • Novelty Track - Investigate systems' abilities to locate new (non-redundant) information.
    • Question Answering Track - Test systems that scale beyond document retrieval, to retrieve answers to factoid, list and definition type questions.
    • Relevance Feedback Track - For deep evaluation of relevance feedback processes.
    • Robust Track - Study individual topic's effectiveness.
    • Session Track - Develop methods for measuring multiple-query sessions where information needs drift.
    • SPAM Track - Benchmark spam filtering approaches.
    • Tasks Track - Test if systems can induce possible tasks, users might be trying to accomplish for the query.
    • Temporal Summarization Track - Develop systems that allow users to efficiently monitor the information associated with an event over time.
    • Terabyte Track - Test scalability of IR systems to large scale collection.
    • Web Track - Explore information seeking behaviors common in general web search.
  • GOV2 Test Collection - This is one of the largest Web collection of documents obtained from crawl of government websites by Charlie Clarke and Ian Soboroff, using NIST hardware and network, then formatted by Nick Craswel.
  • NTCIR Test Collection - This is collection of wide variety of dataset ranging from Ad-hoc collection, Chinese IR collection, mobile clickthrough collections to medical collections. The focus of this collection is mostly on east asian languages and cross language information retrieval.
  • Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum (CLEF) dataset - It contains a multi-lingual document collection. The test suite includes:
    • AdHoc - News Test suite.
    • Domain Specific Test Suite - On collections of scientific articles.
    • Question Answering Test Suite.
  • Reuters Corpora - The corpora is now available through NIST. The corpora includes following:
    • RCV1 (Reuter's Corpus Volume 1) - Consists of only English language News stories.
    • RCV2 (Reuter's Corpus Volume 2) - Consists of stories in 13 languages (Dutch, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish). Note that the stories are not parallel.
    • TRC (Thomson Reuters Text Research Collection) - This is a fairly recent corpus consisting of 1,800,370 news stories covering the period from 2008-01-01 00:00:03 to 2009-02-28 23:54:14.
  • 20 Newsgroup dataset - This data set consists of 20000 newsgroup messages.posts taken from 20 newsgroup topics.
  • English Gigaword Fifth Edition - This data set is a comprehensive archive of English newswire text data including headlines, datelines and articles.
  • Document Understanding Conference (DUC) datasets - Past newswire/paper datasets (DUC 2001 - DUC 2007) are available upon request.

External Curation Links


Technical Talks

Philosophical Talks


  • Web Search and Data Mining Conference - WSDM.
  • Special Interests Group on Information Retrieval - SIGIR.
  • Text REtrieval Conference - TREC.
  • European Conference on Information Retrieval - ECIR.
  • World Wide Web Conference - WWW.
  • Conference on Information and Knowledge Management - CIKM.
  • Forum for Information Retrieval Evaluation - FIRE.
  • Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum - CLEF.
  • NII Testsbeds and Community for Information access Research - NTCIR.


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To the extent possible under law, Harshal Priyadarshi and all the contributors have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.

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