The Limits of Retrieval Effectiveness

  • Ronan Cummins
  • Mounia Lalmas
  • Colm O’Riordan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6611)


Best match systems in Information Retrieval have long been one of the most predominant models used in both research and practice. It is argued that the effectiveness of these types of systems for the ad hoc task in IR has plateaued. In this short paper, we conduct experiments to find the upper limits of performance of these systems from three different perspectives. Our results on TREC data show that there is much room for improvement in terms of term-weighting and query reformulation in the ad hoc task given an entire information need.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronan Cummins
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mounia Lalmas
    • 2
  • Colm O’Riordan
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Computing ScienceUniversity of GlasgowUK
  2. 2.Yahoo! ResearchBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Dept. of Information TechnologyNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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