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Data Mine This: Government Challenges Scientists

InformationWeek (01/11/12) Elizabeth Montalbano

Data-mining experts from academia as well as public- and private-sector organizations have until Feb. 22 to submit applications for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) 21st annual Text Retrieval Conference (TREC). The conference will focus on advanced search techniques for large, digital data collections, and will feature Contextual Suggestion and Knowledge Base Acceleration as new tracks. Contextual Suggestion will investigate how to search information that is dependent on context and user interests, while Knowledge Base Acceleration will aim to improve the efficiency of people who maintain knowledge bases by having the system itself monitor data streams and suggest modifications or extensions. The Crowdsourcing, Legal, Medical Records, Microblog, Session, and Web task topics will carry over from TREC 2011. The conference is scheduled for November, and participants will be able to begin data-mining document sets related to the eight tracks beginning in March. NIST will release the tracks and data sets to be mined, and scientists will be able to focus on developing algorithms to find information from the data collections.

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