/ March 10, 2011

What is Relevance? The Fastcase Algorithm.

Last week, Google announced that it was making major changes to its formula for ranking Web sites. One of the most interesting articles we read about this was less about Google and more about algorithms generally.

Computers are only as smart as their algorithms — man-made software recipes for calculation, the basic building blocks of computerized thought.
Google Schools Its Algorithm – New York Times, March 5, 2011

Fastcase uses its own sophisticated legal research algorithm to determine the relevance of every case when you do a search on Fastcase. The Fastcase relevance score is represented as a percentage. The most “relevant” case is 100% relevant and the subsequent cases receive percentage scores based on how relevant they are as compared to the most relevant case.

How does Fastcase know which cases are most relevant? The relevance score is calculated by measuring four properties of each document within the search results:

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