Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Precision-Oriented Effectiveness Measures

  • Nick CraswellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_476


Precision-oriented evaluation in information retrieval considers the relevance of the top n search results, for small n and using a set of relevance judgments that need not be complete. Such “shallow” evaluation is consistent with a user who only cares about the top-ranked documents. Relaxing the requirement of identifying all relevant documents for every query means that certain measures, such as recall at n, cannot be applied. However, it also allows evaluation on a very large corpus, where employing human relevance assessors to find the complete relevant set for each query would be too expensive. Both aspects of precision-oriented evaluation, the shallow viewing of results and the large corpus, are associated with Web search, where search results are typically a top-10 and the corpus may contain tens of billions of documents.

Historical Background

The Cranfield II experiments in 1963 were a landmark effort in information retrieval evaluation [3]. A test collection...

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Recommended Reading

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Microsoft Research CambridgeCambridgeUK

Section editors and affiliations

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