Cognitive Temporal Document Priors

  • Maria-Hendrike Peetz
  • Maarten de Rijke
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7814)


Temporal information retrieval exploits temporal features of document collections and queries. Temporal document priors are used to adjust the score of a document based on its publication time. We consider a class of temporal document priors that is inspired by retention functions considered in cognitive psychology that are used to model the decay of memory. Many such functions used as a temporal document prior have a positive effect on overall retrieval performance. We examine the stability of this effect across news and microblog collections and discover interesting differences between retention functions. We also study the problem of optimizing parameters of the retention functions as temporal document priors; some retention functions display consistent good performance across large regions of the parameter space. A retention function based on a Weibull distribution is the preferred choice for a temporal document prior.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Hendrike Peetz
    • 1
  • Maarten de Rijke
    • 1
  1. 1.ISLAUniversity of AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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