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Term frequency with average term occurrences for textual information retrieval

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In the context of information retrieval (IR) from text documents, the term weighting scheme (TWS) is a key component of the matching mechanism when using the vector space model. In this paper, we propose a new TWS that is based on computing the average term occurrences of terms in documents and it also uses a discriminative approach based on the document centroid vector to remove less significant weights from the documents. We call our approach Term Frequency With Average Term Occurrence (TF-ATO). An analysis of commonly used document collections shows that test collections are not fully judged as achieving that is expensive and maybe infeasible for large collections. A document collection being fully judged means that every document in the collection acts as a relevant document to a specific query or a group of queries. The discriminative approach used in our proposed approach is a heuristic method for improving the IR effectiveness and performance and it has the advantage of not requiring previous knowledge about relevance judgements. We compare the performance of the proposed TF-ATO to the well-known TF-IDF approach and show that using TF-ATO results in better effectiveness in both static and dynamic document collections. In addition, this paper investigates the impact that stop-words removal and our discriminative approach have on TF-IDF and TF-ATO. The results show that both, stop-words removal and the discriminative approach, have a positive effect on both term-weighting schemes. More importantly, it is shown that using the proposed discriminative approach is beneficial for improving IR effectiveness and performance with no information on the relevance judgement for the collection.

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Correspondence to O. Ali Sadek Ibrahim.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Communicated by D. Neagu.

Appendix: Detailed experimental results of Section 4.2

Appendix: Detailed experimental results of Section 4.2

See Tables 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 in appendix.

Table 12 Average recall-precision results obtained on the FBIS collection from each case in the experiments
Table 13 Average recall-precision results obtained on the cranfield collection from each case in the experiments
Table 14 Average recall-precision results obtained on the CISI collection from each case in the experiments

The cases studies on these results are as follows:

  • Case 1: applying term-weighting scheme without using stop-words removal nor discriminative approach.

  • Case 2: applying term-weighting scheme using stop-words removal but without discriminative approach.

  • Case 3: applying term-weighting scheme without using stop-words removal but using discriminative approach.

  • Case 4: applying term-weighting scheme using both stop-words removal and discriminative approach.

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Ibrahim, O.A.S., Landa-Silva, D. Term frequency with average term occurrences for textual information retrieval. Soft Comput 20, 3045–3061 (2016).

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