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From "Doron Cohen (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Commented: (LUCENE-830) norms file can become unexpectedly enormous
Date Tue, 13 Mar 2007 19:01:09 GMT


Doron Cohen commented on LUCENE-830:

> One simple workaround is to disable norms. 

You mean for some of the fields, using Fieldable's setOmitNorms().

For large indexes, I would think that most fields would be indexed with omit=true, except
for one (content) or two (subject?) fields were length normalization and/or boosting are of
importance. in such cases there would not really be a problem.

Consider the example that an index created for adding textual search to a database application,
by mapping the index field names to the database "textual columns" names; if more than one
table is indexed, but the textual column name happens to be different between the tables,
then yes, - with that straightforward mapping there would be a waste - lots of unused bytes.

One work around for such applications could be to map the textual columns of all tables to
a single textual field in Lucene, thuogh then they would have to filter by a table-name field
(which they might do anyhow). 

> norms file can become unexpectedly enormous
> -------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LUCENE-830
>                 URL:
>             Project: Lucene - Java
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: Index
>    Affects Versions: 2.1
>            Reporter: Michael McCandless
>            Priority: Minor
> Spinoff from this user thread:
> Norms are not stored sparsely, so even if a doc doesn't have field X
> we still use up 1 byte in the norms file (and in memory when that
> field is searched) for that segment.  I think this is done for
> performance at search time?
> For indexes that have a large # documents where each document can have
> wildly varying fields, each segment will use # documents times # fields
> seen in that segment.  When optimize merges all segments, that product
> grows multiplicatively so the norms file for the single segment will
> require far more storage than the sum of all previous segments' norm
> files.
> I think it's uncommon to have a huge number of distinct fields (?) so
> we would need a solution that doesn't hurt the more common case where
> most documents have the same fields.  Maybe something analogous to how
> bitvectors are now optionally stored sparsely?
> One simple workaround is to disable norms.

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