LBSC 796/INFM 718R
Information Retrieval Systems
Information Retrieval Softeare
Available Text Retrieval Software
The following software is available for use in this course. Those
with links can be downloaded freely and used anywhere. The three you
are most likely to want to use are listed first, others are listed in
alphabetical order for completeness. Some of these search engines are
compared in an October 2007 Technical
Report from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain.
The Big Three
- A freely available Java IR system, probably the easiest system
to get up and running, and the most easily modified. The SOLR extensions to
Lucene are well worth getting too.
- Indri is optimized for efficiency, and thus is a good choice if
you have a large collection and a single processor. It is
built on top of the Lemur toolkit for
building language modeling systems for information retrieval.
- An information retrieval system for the Hadoop MapReduce
framework. This is a good choice is you have a very large
collection and at least a modest size server cluster. You can
buy time from Amazon Web Services if you don't have your own
See also the listing at searchtools.com.
- Cheshire 3
- Freely available research software implementing a logistic
regression model from the University of California at Berkeley.
Gettig it working may require some facility with Z39.50.
- Freely available software from the University of Arizona that
is designed for efficient indexing (at some cost in retrieval
efficiency). Glimpse is not configured for TREC-style
evaluations, so that would take some extra work.
- Commercial software based on inference networks that has a very
flexible query language. We have a research and teaching
license for this system from the University of Massachusetts,
and still use it occassionally. InQuery includes an X-Windows
interface and it is configured to run TREC-style evaluations,
but the source code is not available.
- A Java toolkit for building IR systems for small applications.
The strength of IRF is that the object oriented framework greatly
simplifies tasks that require working wiht the source code. Bt
because Java is designed for platform independence rather than
efficiency, the size of the collections that can be handled is quite
- Research software from RMIT that is designed to maximize
storage efficiency on very large collectons. It is available
under the GNU public license. We installed this once several
years ago and it wasn't too difficult. Click here to
download the tarfile.
- Public domain vector space research software developed at NIST
We regularly use this system for TDT evaluations. PRISE
includes a very nice Z39.50 interface, but it takes some
facility with that stangard to get the interactive part
running. PRISE is configured to run TREC-style evaluations and
the source code is available.
- A vector space research software that is freely available by FTP
from Cornell University. We have extensive experience using
SMART. SMART includes only a VT-100 interface, but it is
configured to run TREC-style evaluations and the source code is
- An information retrieval system from the University of Glasgow
that is optimized for efficiency. Terrier implements the
divergence from randomness framework for ranked retrieval.
- An open source IR system that is designed ot run under Linux.
Xiapan is a descendent of Omseek, which itself is a decendent
of Open Muscat. Xiapan is designed to handle several Western
European languages, and thus might be a good choice if you want to
work with languages other than English.
- Zettair is optimized for both efficiency and modifiability. It
therefore occupies a part of the design space between Lucene and
Last modified: Jan 15 2011