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A statistical interpretation of term specificity and its application in retrieval

A statistical interpretation of term specificity and its application in retrieval The exhaustivity of document descriptions and the specificity of index terms are usually regarded as independent. It is suggested that specificity should be interpreted statistically, as a function of term use rather than of term meaning. The effects on retrieval of variations in term specificity are examined, experiments with three test collections showing, in particular, that frequently‐occurring terms are required for good overall performance. It is argued that terms should be weighted according to collection frequency, so that matches on less frequent, more specific, terms are of greater value than matches on frequent terms. Results for the test collections show that considerable improvements in performance are obtained with this very simple procedure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

A statistical interpretation of term specificity and its application in retrieval

Journal of Documentation , Volume 60 (5): 10 – Oct 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220410410560573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The exhaustivity of document descriptions and the specificity of index terms are usually regarded as independent. It is suggested that specificity should be interpreted statistically, as a function of term use rather than of term meaning. The effects on retrieval of variations in term specificity are examined, experiments with three test collections showing, in particular, that frequently‐occurring terms are required for good overall performance. It is argued that terms should be weighted according to collection frequency, so that matches on less frequent, more specific, terms are of greater value than matches on frequent terms. Results for the test collections show that considerable improvements in performance are obtained with this very simple procedure.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2004

Keywords: Information research; Information retrieval; Information science and documentation

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