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Novelty Detection: The TREC Experience



Ian M. Soboroff, Donna K. Harman


A challenge for search systems is to detect not only when an item is relevant to the user's information need, but also when it contains something new which the user has not seen before. In the TREC novelty track, the task was to highlight sentences containing relevant and new information in a short, topical document stream. This is analogous to highlighting key parts of a document for another person to read, and this kind of output can be useful as input to a summarization system. Search topics involved both news events and reported opinions on hot-usa-button subjects. When people performed this task, they tended to select small blocks of consecutive sentences as relevant, whereas current systems identified many relevant and novel passages. We also found that opinions are much harder to track than events.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 2005 conference on Human Language Technology


evaluation, information retrieval, machine learning, novelty detection, passage retrieval


Soboroff, I. and Harman, D. (2005), Novelty Detection: The TREC Experience, Proceedings of the 2005 conference on Human Language Technology, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created October 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017