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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/841

Title: Exploiting the probability ranking principle to increase the effectiveness of conventional boolean retieval systems
Authors: Radecki, T.
Issue Date: 1988
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Egghe, L. & Rousseau, R. (Ed.) Informetrics 87/88, Belgium : Diepenbeek, Pag 209-218
Abstract: This paper reports on research aimed at developing practical methods for improving the performance of conventional Boolean information retrieval systems. More specifically, the objective of this research is to incorporate into these systems a mechanism for ranking the documents of a collection in descending order of their probabilities of usefulness to the user. There are several reasons why a ranking mechanism of this type may be expected to provide retrieval results superior to those of traditional Boolean search techniques which normally do not furnish users with any indication of document relevance. In particular, the so-called output overload problem, which occurs when the size of the document set retrieved in response to a given query is unmanageable, could practically be eliminated since the ranking information would assist the searcher in deciding when to end an examination of the system's output with the confidence of identifying most of the useful items that have been retrieved. Moreover, since it would no longer be necessary to inspect all of the output documents, a user query could then be constructed broad enough to allow more relevant items to be retrieved. Accordingly, such a system enhancement may result in an improvement in retrieval effectiveness, especially in an increase in recall. This presents and illustrates a theoretical framework, based on the Probability Ranking Principle, for implementing this enhancement. Research indicates that a relevance-based ranking scheme of this type could readily be incorporated into conventional retrieval systems without altering their underlying fundamental principles; some additional software in the form of a front-end is all that would be needed. As a result, the performance of these systems may be significantly improved at an acceptable cost.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/841
ISSN: 0-444-70425-6
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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