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Building Better Search Engines by Measuring Search Quality



Ellen M. Voorhees, Paul D. Over, Ian Soboroff


Search engines help users locate particular information within large stores of content developed for human consumption. For example, users expect web search engines to direct searchers to web sites based on the content of the site rather than the site address, and video search engines someday to return video clips based on the actions recorded in the clip rather than file names and donor tags. Search engines are developed using standard sets of realistic test cases that allow developers to measure the relative effectiveness of alternative approaches. The NIST Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) project has been instrumental in creating the necessary infrastructure to measure the quality of search results for more than twenty years, and has thus helped fuel the recent ex- plosive growth in search-related technologies.
IEEE IT Professional


information retrieval, search, TREC, TRECVID


Voorhees, E. , Over, P. and Soboroff, I. (2014), Building Better Search Engines by Measuring Search Quality, IEEE IT Professional, [online], (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created March 2, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021