A novel probabilistic retrieval model is presented. It forms a basis to interpret the TF-IDF term weights as making relevance decisions. It simulates the local relevance decision-making for every location of a document, and combines all of these "local" relevance decisions as the "document-wide" relevance decision for the document. The significance of interpreting TF-IDF in this way is the potential to: (1) establish a unifying perspective about information retrieval as relevance decision-making; and (2) develop advanced TF-IDF-related term weights for future elaborate retrieval models. Our novel retrieval model is simplified to a basic ranking formula that directly corresponds to the TF-IDF term weights. In general, we show that the term-frequency factor of the ranking formula can be rendered into different term-frequency factors of existing retrieval systems. In the basic ranking formula, the remaining quantity - log p(r̄t ∈ d) is interpreted as the probability of randomly picking a nonrelevant usage (denoted by ) of term t. Mathematically, we show that this quantity can be approximated by the inverse document-frequency (IDF). Empirically, we show that this quantity is related to IDF, using four reference TREC ad hoc retrieval data collections.
- Information retrieval
- Relevance decision
- Term weight
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Information Systems
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Computer Science Applications