A Survey of Pre-Retrieval Query Performance Predictors

by Claudia Hauff, Djoerd Hiemstra, and Franciska de Jong

The focus of research on query performance prediction is to predict the effectiveness of a query given a search system and a collection of documents. If the performance of queries can be estimated in advance of, or during the retrieval stage, specific measures can be taken to improve the overall performance of the system. In particular, pre-retrieval predictors predict the query performance before the retrieval step and are thus independent of the ranked list of results; such predictors base their predictions solely on query terms, the collection statistics and possibly external sources such as WordNet. In this paper, 22 pre-retrieval predictors are categorized and assessed on three different TREC test collections.

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