Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Term Weighting

  • Ibrahim Abu El-KhairEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_943


Term weighting is a procedure that takes place during the text indexing process in order to assess the value of each term to the document. Term weighting is the assignment of numerical values to terms that represent their importance in a document in order to improve retrieval effectiveness [9]. Essentially it considers the relative importance of individual words in an information retrieval system, which can improve system effectiveness, since not all the terms in a given document collection are of equal importance. Weighing the terms is the means that enables the retrieval system to determine the importance of a given term in a certain document or a query. It is a crucial component of any information retrieval system, a component that has shown great potential for improving the retrieval effectiveness of an information retrieval system [8].

Historical Background

The use of word frequency dates back to G. K. Zipf and his well-known law [16] for word distribution. The law...

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Science Department, School of Social SciencesUmm Al-Qura UniversityMeccaSaudi Arabia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Edie Rasmussen
    • 1
  1. 1.Library, Archival & Information StudiesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada