TrecTools: an open-source Python library for Information Retrieval practitioners involved in TREC-like campaigns

2019 | Proceedings of the 42nd annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in Information Retrieval
Share via twitter Share via email Download PDF


Try it out!


This paper introduces TrecTools, a Python library for assisting Information Retrieval (IR) practitioners with TREC-like campaigns. IR practitioners tasked with activities like building test collections, evaluating systems, or analysing results from empirical experiments commonly have to resort to use a number of different software tools and scripts that each perform an individual functionality – and at times they even have to implement ad-hoc scripts of their own. TrecTools aims to provide a unified environment for performing these common activities.

Written in the most popular programming language for Data Science, Python, TrecTools offers an object-oriented, easily exten- sible library. Existing systems, e.g., trec_eval, have considerable barrier to entry when it comes to modify or extend them. Fur- thermore, many existing IR measures and tools are implemented independently of each other, in different programming languages. TrecTools seeks to lower the barrier to entry and to unify exist- ing tools, frameworks and activities into one common umbrella. Widespread adoption of a centralised solution for developing, eval- uating, and analysing TREC-like campaigns will ease the burden on organisers and provide participants and users with a standard environment for common IR experimental activities. TrecTools is distributed as an open source library under the MIT license at