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Cross-Language Evaluation Forum - CLEF 2004 (16 Oct 2004)
The main objectives of the Cross-Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF) are to stimulate the development of mono- and multilingual information retrieval systems for European languages and to contribute to the building of a research community in the multidisciplinary area of multilingual information access. These objectives are realised through the organisation of annual evaluation campaigns and workshops. Each campaign offers a series of evaluation tracks designed to test different aspects of mono- and cross-language system performance.

One of the principal objectives when CLEF began was to encourage developers to build multilingual retrieval systems capable of searching over collections in a number of languages. The multilingual track was thus the main track for several years and was made progressively more difficult. With CLEF 2003, where the track included a task that involved finding relevant documents in a collection containing documents in eight languages, we felt that we had achieved an important goal. We had shown that fully multilingual retrieval could be (almost) as effective as bilingual (L1 > L2) retrieval and that systems are able to adapt and reengineer rapidly and effectively to process new languages as the need arises. For this reason, in CLEF 2004 we decided to reduce the multilingual document retrieval activity to leave more space for other types of cross-language information retrieval experiments.
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