The Porter stemming algorithm: then and now

Peter Willett (Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, UK)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Publication date: 1 July 2006



In 1980, Porter presented a simple algorithm for stemming English language words. This paper summarises the main features of the algorithm, and highlights its role not just in modern information retrieval research, but also in a range of related subject domains.


Review of literature and research involving use of the Porter algorithm.


The algorithm has been widely adopted and extended so that it has become the standard approach to word conflation for information retrieval in a wide range of languages.


The 1980 paper in Program by Porter describing his algorithm has been highly cited. This paper provides a context for the original paper as well as an overview of its subsequent use.



Peter Willett (2006) "The Porter stemming algorithm: then and now", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 219-223

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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