Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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

Query Expansion for Information Retrieval

  • Olga VechtomovaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_947


QE, Query enhancement; Term expansion


Query expansion (QE) is a process in Information Retrieval which consists of selecting and adding terms to the user’s query with the goal of minimizing query-document mismatch and thereby improving retrieval performance.

Historical Background

The work on query expansion following relevance feedback dates back to 1965, when Rocchio [1] formalized relevance feedback in the vector-space model. Early work on using collection-based term co-occurrence statistics to select query expansion terms was done by Spärck Jones [2] and van Rijsbergen [3].


The central task of information retrieval (IR) is to find documents that satisfy the user’s information need. This is usually taken to mean finding documents or some parts of them, such as passages, which contain information that would help resolving the user’s information need. Therefore, at least in a more traditional sense, IR does not involve providing the user directly with...

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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.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Section editors and affiliations

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