An algorithm for suffix stripping
<B>Purpose</B> - The automatic removal of suffixes from words in English is of particular interest in the field of information retrieval. This work was originally published in <IT>Program</IT> in 1980 and is republished as part of a series of articles commemorating the 40th anniversary of the journal. <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - An algorithm for suffix stripping is described, which has been implemented as a short, fast program in BCPL. <B>Findings</B> - Although simple, it performs slightly better than a much more elaborate system with which it has been compared. It effectively works by treating complex suffixes as compounds made up of simple suffixes, and removing the simple suffixes in a number of steps. In each step the removal of the suffix is made to depend upon the form of the remaining stem, which usually involves a measure of its syllable length. <B>Originality/value</B> - The piece provides a useful historical document on information retrieval.