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Welcome to the ATIRE open source search engine project.


What is ATIRE

ATIRE is a search engine built using the most effective recent research techniques discovered by Information Retrieval researchers around the world. It is fast and accurate. It is written in C++ by researchers at the University of Otago (New Zealand) along with colleagues at QUT (Australia).

ATIRE was started by Andrew Trotman at the University of Otago and his research group continues to develop it further. ATIRE was originally developed for participation in the INEX evaluation forum, but is now also being used for participation at TREC.

Operating Systems

The search engine is concurrently developed on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It compiles and runs as either a 64-bit or 32-bit native application on all supported platforms. The code base is ordinarily compiled using Microsoft Visual C/C++, GNU g++, and clang++ (LLVM). The build process involves commandline makefiles. There are no IDE build files.


ATIRE is distributed under the BSD license. However, some components are built on code distributed under the GPL license. As the GPL license is parasitic, we have done what we can to re-license or re-write those components so that they can be distributed under the BSD license. However, this is not always possible (for example, with reference implementations (e.g. lzo compression)).

To avoid license conflicts ATIRE is distributed as two archives: the core search engine (BSD); and the extras (GPL). You do not need the extras and in general they are not very useful unless you are conducting research that might need them.


ATIRE is a registered trademark.