The VAST 2010 Challenge consisted of three mini-challenges (MC) and one Grand Challenge (GC). Each MC had a data set, instructions and a number of questions to be answered. The GC required participants to pull together information from all three data sets and write a debrief summarizing the situation. Most teams are not able to analyze all three of the mini-challenges and enter only mini-challenges.
The VAST 2010 scenario featured a number of arms dealings in various countries, a world-wide pandemic, and some genetic data helping identify the origin of the pandemic. MC 1 consisted of text documents which participants needed to process to identify the key characters and events and/or situations in each of 12 main countries. After summarizing the situation in each country, participants were asked to produce a social network showing the relationships between the key players. MC 2 required participants to analyze over 1 million hospital admission records (with chief complaints) and death records, and characterize the pandemic. MC 3 asked participants to analyze a number of genetic samples and use this information to locate the origin of the disease as well as identify the most dangerous viral mutations.