VAST Challenge 2021 Mini Challenge 2 is now available!

Additional challenges will be available for download soon! Please watch this space

The 2021 IEEE VAST Challenge brings back a classic challenge to see how approaches and techniques have developed since its original release. This year’s challenge will be a variation on a previous year’s challenge, with modified data and new questions.

The VAST Challenge is open to participation by individuals and teams in industry, government, and academia. We encourage your submissions and look forward to seeing your innovative visual analytics approaches.


Note: This scenario and all the people, places, groups, technologies, contained therein are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, places, groups, or technologies is purely coincidental.

In the roughly twenty years that Tethys-based GAStech has been operating a natural gas production site in the island country of Kronos, it has produced remarkable profits and developed strong relationships with the government of Kronos. However, GAStech has not been as successful in demonstrating environmental stewardship.

In January, 2014, the leaders of GAStech are celebrating their new-found fortune as a result of the initial public offering of their very successful company. In the midst of this celebration, several employees of GAStech go missing. An organization known as the Protectors of Kronos (POK) is suspected in the disappearance, but things may not be what they seem.

As an expert in visual analytics, you are called in to help law enforcement from Kronos and Tethys.

Mini-Challenge 1

Mini-Challenge 1 looks at the relationships and conditions that led up to the kidnapping. As an analyst, you have a set of current and historical news reports at your disposal, as well as resumes of numerous GAStech employees and email headers from two weeks of internal GAStech company email. Can you identify the complex relationships among all of these people and organizations?

Please visit VAST Challenge 2021: Mini-Challenge 1 for more information and to download the data.

Mini-Challenge 2

Mini-Challenge 2 asks you to analyze movement and tracking data. GAStech provides many of their employees with company cars for their personal and professional use, but unbeknownst to the employees, the cars are equipped with GPS tracking devices. You are given tracking data for the two weeks leading up to the disappearance, as well as credit card transactions and loyalty card usage data. From this data, can you identify anomalies and suspicious behaviors? Can you identify which people use which credit and loyalty cards?

Please visit VAST Challenge 2021: Mini-Challenge 2 for more information and to download the data.

Mini-Challenge 3

Mini-Challenge 3 poses a social media and text analysis challenge. You will be given a collection of microblogs and emergency calls from the days surrounding the disappearance. Can evaluate the changing levels of risk to the public and recommend actions?

Please visit VAST Challenge 2021: Mini-Challenge 3 for more information and to download the data.

Important Information about the VAST Challenge

Participants are welcome to enter one, two, or all three of the Mini-Challenges. Entries may be submitted by teams or individuals.

Submission deadline is July 12, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -9 hours).

Entries will be judged based on the criteria appropriate to the specific Mini-Challenge. Award and Honorable Mention winners will receive recognition certificates and have the opportunity to present a poster of their work at the VIS Conference. Award and Honorable Mention winning participants will be contacted by August 15, 2021.

All participants are also invited to submit a two-page summary of their entry for inclusion in the IEEE VIS 2021 electronic conference proceedings. These papers will be due August 22.

All participants are invited to attend the VAST Challenge 2021 Workshop, to be held in conjunction with IEEE VIS 2021 on October 24 or 25, 2021. At this workshop, challenge organizers, participants, and conference attendees come together to discuss their work on this year’s Challenge. Award certificates are presented during the workshop. The workshop includes presentations by selected participants, invited speakers, and other activities.

Following the workshop, the submissions will be posted to the Visual Analytics Benchmark Repository. Submissions from previous years can also be found in this repository.