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Probability Ranking Principle (PRP)

  • Simple case: no selection costs or other utility concerns that would differentially weight errors

  • Bayes’ Optimal Decision Rule

    • x is relevant iff p(R|x) > p(NR|x)

  • PRP in action: Rank all documents by p(R|x)

  • Theorem:

    • Using the PRP is optimal, in that it minimizes the loss (Bayes risk) under 1/0 loss

    • Provable if all probabilities correct, etc. [e.g., Ripley 1996]

Speaker notes:

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