- The query-performance prediction task aims at estimating the retrieval effectiveness of queries without obtaining relevance feedback from users. Most of the recently proposed predictors were empirically evaluated with various datasets to demonstrate their merits. We propose a framework for theoretical categorization and estimation of the value of query performance predictors (QPP) without empirical evaluation. We demonstrate the application of the proposed framework on four representative selected predictors and show how it emphasizes their strengths and weaknesses. The main contribution of this work is the theoretical grounded categorization of representative QPP.