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Question Answering in TREC



Ellen M. Voorhees


The Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) question answering track is an effort to bring the benefits of large-scale evaluation to bear on a question answering (QA) task. The track has run twice so far, first in TREC-8 and again in TREC-9. In each case the goal was to retrieve small snippets of text that contain the actual answer to a question rather than the document lists traditionally returned by text retrieval systems. The best performing systems were able to answer about 70% of the questions in TREC-8 and about 65% of the questions in TREC-9. While the 65% score is a slightly worse result than the TREC-8 scores in absolute terms, it represents a very significant improvement in question answering systems. The TREC-9 task was considerably harder than the TREC-8 task because TREC-9 used actual users' questions while TREC-8 used questions constructed for the track. Future tracks will continue to challenge the QA community with more difficult, and more realistic, question answering tasks.
Conference on Information and Knowledge Management


natural language processing, question answering, TREC


Voorhees, E. (2001), Question Answering in TREC, Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017