Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Standard Effectiveness Measures

  • Ethan ZhangEmail author
  • Yi Zhang
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_475


Evaluation in information retrieval


The standard effectiveness evaluation in information retrieval centers around determining how relevant are the documents retrieved to users’ information needs. A user query represents the users’ information need. A user information need is hidden, depending on what the user already knows, what the user wants to find out about, and what is the users constraint (time, format, price, recent, location). Recall and precision are the basis of relevance-based effectiveness measures. Other commonly used evaluation measures based on recall and precision include the F-measure, the 11-point precision-recall curve, and the average precision.

Historical Background

The first formal evaluation of information retrieval (IR) systems was conducted in the late 1950s by Cyrid Cleverdon at the College of Aeronautics in Cranfield, England [2]. These studies are often referred to as the Cranfield experiments and are the foundation of future research on...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Baeza-Yates R, Ribeiro-Neto B. Modern information retrieval. New York: Addison Wesley; 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cleverdon CW. The significance of the cranfield tests on index languages. In: Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval; 1991. p. 3–12.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Voorhees EM, Harman DK, editors. TREC: experiment and evaluation in information retrieval. Cambridge, MA: MIT; 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Yahoo! Inc.Santa ClaraUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Weiyi Meng
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceState University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA