Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Sebastiani F. A probabilistic terminological logic for modelling information retrieval. In: SIGIR '94 - 17th Annual International ACM-SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (Dublin, 1994). Proceedings, pp. 122 - 130. Springer-Verlag, 1994.
Some researchers have recently argued tbat tbe task of Information Retneval (IR) may successfully be described by means of mathematical logici accordingly, the relevance of a given document to a given information need should be assessed by cbecking the validěty of the logical formula d->n, where d is the representation of the document, n is the representation of the information need and "->" is the conditional connective of the logic in questiono in a recent paper we have proposed Terminological Logica (TLs) as suitable logics for modelling IR within the paradigm described above. Trus proposal, however, while making a step towards adeguately modelling IR in a logical way, does not account for the fact that the relevance of a document to an information need can only be assessed up to a limited degree of certainty. In this work, we try to overcome this limitation by introducing a model of IR based on a probabilistic TL, i.e. a logic allowing the expression of real-valued terms representing probability values and possibly involving expressions of a TL. Two different types of probabilistic information, i.e. statistical information and information about degrees of belief, can be accounted for in this logic. The paper presents a formal syntax and a denotational (possible-worlds) semantics for this logic, and discusses, by means of a number of examples, its adequacy as a formal tool for describing IR.
Subject Information retrieval
H.3 Information storage and retrieval

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