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Automatic performance evaluation of Web search engines

Measuring the information retrieval effectiveness of World Wide Web search engines is costly because of human relevance judgments involved. However, both for business enterprises and people it is important to know the most effective Web search engines, since such search engines help their users find higher number of relevant Web pages with less effort. Furthermore, this information can be used for several practical purposes. In this study we introduce automatic Web search engine evaluation method as an efficient and effective assessment tool of such systems. The experiments based on eight Web search engines, 25 queries, and binary user relevance judgments show that our method provides results consistent with human-based evaluations. It is shown that the observed consistencies are statistically significant. This indicates that the new method can be successfully used in the evaluation of Web search engines.

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