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THE PROBABILITY RANKING PRINCIPLE IN IR

S.E. ROBERTSON (School of Library, Archive, and Information Studies, University College London)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 April 1977

Abstract

The principle that, for optimal retrieval, documents should be ranked in order of the probability of relevance or usefulness has been brought into question by Cooper. It is shown that the principle can be justified under certain assumptions, but that in cases where these assumptions do not hold, the principle is not valid. The major problem appears to lie in the way the principle considers each document independently of the rest. The nature of the information on the basis of which the system decides whether or not to retrieve the documents determines whether the document‐by‐document approach is valid.

Citation

ROBERTSON, S.E. (1977), "THE PROBABILITY RANKING PRINCIPLE IN IR", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 294-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb026647

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1977, MCB UP Limited