Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2009 Edition

Boolean Model

  • Massimo Melucci
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_917


In the Boolean Model for Information Retrieval, a document collection is a set of documents and an index term is the subset of documents indexed by the term itself. An index term can also be seen as a proposition which asserts whether the term is a property of a document, that is, if the term occurs in the document or, in other words, if the document is about the concept represented by the term.

The interpretation of a query is set-theoretical. In practice, a query is a Boolean expression where the set operators are the usual intersection, union and complement, and the operands are index terms. The document subsets which corresponds to the index terms of the query are combined through the set operators. The system returns the documents which belong to the subset expressed by the query.

Historical Background

The Boolean model for Information Retrieval was proposed as a paradigm for accessing large scale systems since the 1950s. The idea of composing queries as Boolean...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Melucci
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PaduaPaduaItaly