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This article presents a theoretical framework to evaluate XML retrieval. XML retrieval deals with retrieving those document components, the XML elements, that specifically answer a query. In this paper, theoretical evaluation is concerned with the formal representation of qualitative properties of retrieval models. It complements experimental methods by showing the properties of the underlying reasoning assumptions that decide when a document is about a query. We define a theoreticaldoi:10.1002/asi.22674 fatcat:s6genehujrhhjbgs3p4otiusgi