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Estimation – key challenge

  • If non-relevant documents are approximated by the whole collection, then ri (prob. of occurrence in non-relevant documents for query) is n/N and

    • log (1– ri)/ri = log (N– n)/n ≈ log N/n = IDF!

  • pi (probability of occurrence in relevant documents) can be estimated in various ways:

    • from relevant documents if know some

      • Relevance weighting can be used in feedback loop

    • constant (Croft and Harper combination match) – then just get idf weighting of terms

    • proportional to prob. of occurrence in collection

      • more accurately, to log of this (Greiff, SIGIR 1998) 


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