Results have been posted (see menu on the right)
The solution and ALL the submissions we received are now publicly available in the VA Benchmark Repository

We received 58 entries (14 Mini Challenge 1, 22 Mini Challenge 2, 17 Mini Challenge 3 and 5 Grand Challenge) which are being reviewed by domain experts and professional analysts.
As of October 15th 537 people had downloaded the data set(June 10th - 425)

VAST CHALLENGE PARTICIPANT WORKSHOP: the workshop is taking place on SUNDAY Oct 24th, just before the conference.  This workshop is open to everyone who submits to the Challenge (and only them, so submit an entry next year!). The URL for the workshop was sent to the teams in the notification letters.

To “Download” see the menu on the right.  Please use a valid email address so we can count unique downloads and send you email updates if needed.

Overview of the event

The VAST Challenge is a participation category of the IEEE VAST 2010 Symposium (part of VisWeek 2010). The VAST 2010 Challenge continues in the footsteps of the VAST 2009 Challenge, VAST 2008 Challenge and the 2007 and 2006 contests with the purpose of pushing the forefront of visual analytics tools using benchmark data sets and establishing a forum to advance visual analytics evaluation methods. We also hope it will speed the transfer of VA technology from research labs to commercial products, and increase the availability of evaluation techniques.

In order to provide more opportunities for increased participation we will again offer an overall Grand Challenge as well as three smaller Mini Challenges. 

MINI CHALLENGE 1 : Text Records - Investigations into Arms Dealing
MINI CHALLENGE 2 : Hospitalization Records -  Characterization of Pandemic Spread
MINI CHALLENGE 3: Genetic Sequences – Tracing the Mutations of a Disease
GRAND CHALLENGE: Combines all data sets.  Investigating any possible linkage between the illegal arms dealing and the pandemic outbreak.

Teams may enter one or more mini Challenges independently of the entering the Grand Challenge. ALL teams submitting an entry to a VAST Challenge will be invited to discuss their work during a challenge workshop.

Entries will be judged on both the correctness of the analysis (based on the availability of ground truth) and the utility of the tools in conducting the analysis. Participants have several months to prepare their submissions.

Questions?  Send email to challengecommittee AT


The challenge is open to EVERYBODY.  If in doubt, ask the chairs.
Student teams must have a faculty sponsor and provide the faculty’s contact information with their registration.
Teams may use any existing commercial product or research prototype and, of course, may combine tools. We strongly encourage teams to find partners with complementary expertise (e.g. groups with text analysis or reasoning tools might want to seek partners with user interface expertise). We can assist you if you are looking for partners, please ask!
At least one participant of the teams receiving recognition should attend the Symposium, so please discuss travel support issues early with your advisor or supervisor.  If you are a student register as a student volunteer as early as possible.

2010 Timeline

Early MarchSample data available
End of MarchFull datasets available
June 29thSubmissions deadline
August 10thResults returned to participants
August 25thDeadline for award winners to submit 2-page summary for inclusion in the proceedings
October 24th-29thVAST Conference


VAST Challenge chairs

Georges Grinstein, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Catherine Plaisant, HCIL, University of Maryland
Jean Scholtz, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Mark Whiting, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Related URLs

VAST 2009 Challenge and VAST 2008 challenge
SEMVAST project: Scientific Evaluation Methods for Visual Analytics Science and Technology and associated SEMVAST wiki
Workshop on Visual Analytics VAKD’09 (June 28th, Paris France).
CG&A Journal paper about the VAST 2007 contest
CG&A Special Issue on Visual Analytics Evaluation. (published in April 2009)


This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under a Collaborative Research Grant to the following two institutions:
- 0947358 Plaisant, Catherine, University of Maryland, College Park
- 0947343 Grinstein, Georges, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

We also thank the National Visualization and Analytics CenterTM (NVACTM) located at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, for their contribution to the VAST Challenge. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830.