Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Boolean Model

  • Massimo Melucci
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_917

Definition

In the Boolean model for Information Retrieval (IR), a document collection is a set of documents, and an index term is the subset of documents indexed by the term itself. An index term can also be seen as a proposition which asserts whether the term is a property of a document, that is, if the term occurs in the document or, in other words, if the document is about the concept represented by the term.

The interpretation of a query is set-theoretical. In practice, a query is a Boolean expression where the set operators are the usual intersection, union, and complement, and the operands are index terms. The document subsets which correspond to the index terms of the query are combined through the set operators. The system returns the documents which belong to the subset expressed by the query and make the query true.

Historical Background

The Boolean model for IRwas proposed as a paradigm for accessing large-scale systems since the 1950s. The idea of composing queries as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PaduaPaduaItaly