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(information science)
A measure of how closely a given object (file, web page, database record, etc.) matches a user's search for information.

The relevance algorithms used in most large web search engines today are based on fairly simple word-occurence measurement: if the word "daffodil" occurs on a given page, then that page is considered relevant to a query on the word "daffodil"; and its relevance is quantised as a factor of the number of times the word occurs in the page, on whether "daffodil" occurs in title of the page or in its META keywords, in the first N words of the page, in a heading, and so on; and similarly for words that a stemmer says are based on "daffodil".

More elaborate (and resource-expensive) relevance algorithms may involve thesaurus (or synonym ring) lookup; e.g. it might rank a document about narcissuses (but which may not mention the word "daffodil" anywhere) as relevant to a query on "daffodil", since narcissuses and daffodils are basically the same thing. Ditto for queries on "jail" and "gaol", etc.

More elaborate forms of thesaurus lookup may involve multilingual thesauri (e.g. knowing that documents in Japanese which mention the Japanese word for "narcissus" are relevant to your search on "narcissus"), or may involve thesauri (often auto-generated) based not on equivalence of meaning, but on word-proximity, such that "bulb" or "bloom" may be in the thesaurus entry for "daffodil".

Word spamming essentially attempts to falsely increase a web page's relevance to certain common searches.

See also subject index.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rehearsal and retrieval of the to-be-remembered visually presented material involves reviving the links between objects, and disruption by irrelevant speech occurs because of the presence of competing links from the auditory input.
Most of the irrelevant sound work has appeared not in the human factors literature but, rather, in the domain of the theoretical study of memory and attention.
While distinctions between persons may be irrelevant before God, it is a mistake to assume, as conservative interpreters have throughout history, that these distinctions are irrelevant for Paul's mission.
In addition, while boys and girls were equally able to identify problems containing only the necessary and sufficient information, boys were more able than girls to detect irrelevant information in a problem.
The DEO informed that the Rescue staff had received total 6204846 calls since its inception out of which emergency calls were 162871 with 102286 wrong calls, 5418265 obnoxious, irrelevant, distorted, blank and dropped calls while there were 5063 fake calls received in District Command and Control Room.
Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India] January 14 ( ANI ): A day after Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising irrelevant issues in the poll-bound state, his Uttar Pradesh counterpart, Yogi Adityanath, highlighted that the law and order situation there was at its worst.
Haynes, McCarley, and Williams (2015) examined this selection process and found that students tend to exclude relevant information, while including a substantial amount of irrelevant information in their study materials.
Parliament could soon be irrelevant US BREXITEERS will be able to console ourselves in as much that, when our vision of freedom from the EU is scuppered, in not too many years Parliament will become irrelevant, and will subsequently close down and be turned into a museum about the days when Britain truly was great.
Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Benjamin Delos Santos has resigned from his post, saying the resurgence of the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) has made him irrelevant.
RAJANPUR -- Deputy Commissioner Ashfaq Ahmed has sought survey report of all six model villages of the district by next week to identify irrelevant persons residing there.
Would they still be irrelevant if they were five million?
In August 2015, Delvv's Mobile Overload Survey found that many Americans feel overwhelmed and frustrated by continuous feeds of irrelevant information pushed at them by their smartphones.