On the use of negation in Boolean IR queries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The negation operator, in various forms in which it appears in Information Retrieval queries, is investigated. The applications include negated terms in Boolean queries, more specifically in the presence of metrical constraints, but also negated characters used in the definition of extended keywords by means of regular expressions. Exact definitions are suggested and their usefulness is shown on several examples. Finally, some implementation issues are discussed, in particular as to the order in which the terms of long queries, with or without negated keywords, should be processed, and efficient heuristics for choosing a good order are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-311
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Boolean queries
  • Concordance
  • Distance constraints
  • Negated keywords
  • Query processing


Dive into the research topics of 'On the use of negation in Boolean IR queries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this