The quantum probability ranking principle for information retrieval

Guido Zuccon, Leif A. Azzopardi, Keith Rijsbergen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

32 Citations (Scopus)


While the Probability Ranking Principle for Information Retrieval provides the basis for formal models, it makes a very strong assumption regarding the dependence between documents. However, it has been observed that in real situations this assumption does not always hold. In this paper we propose a reformulation of the Probability Ranking Principle based on quantum theory. Quantum probability theory naturally includes interference effects between events. We posit that this interference captures the dependency between the judgement of document relevance. The outcome is a more sophisticated principle, the Quantum Probability Ranking Principle, that provides a more sensitive ranking which caters for interference/dependence between documents’ relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Information Retrieval Theory
Subtitle of host publicationSecond International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval, ICTIR 2009 Cambridge, UK, September 10-12, 2009 Proceedings
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-04416-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • probability ranking principle
  • information retrieval


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