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From "Grant Ingersoll (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Created] (LUCENE-3118) Tools for making explanations easier to consume/understand
Date Wed, 18 May 2011 20:48:47 GMT
Tools for making explanations easier to consume/understand
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                 Key: LUCENE-3118
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LUCENE-3118
             Project: Lucene - Java
          Issue Type: Improvement
            Reporter: Grant Ingersoll
            Priority: Minor


Often times, reading Explanations (i.e. the breakdown of scores for a particular query and
result, say via Solr's &debugQuery) is a pretty cryptic and hard to do undertaking.  I
often say people suffer from "explain blindness" from staring at explanation results for too
long.  We could add a layer of explanation helpers above the core Explain functionality that
help people understand better what is going on.  The goal is to give a higher level of tools
to people who aren't necessarily well versed in all the underpinnings of Lucene's scoring
mechanisms but still want information about why something didn't match

For instance (brainstorming some things that might be doable):
* Explain Diff Tool -- Given an 1 or more explanations, quickly highlight what the key things
are that differentiate the results  (i.e. fieldNorm is higher, etc.)
* Given a query and any document, give a more friendly reason why it ranks lower than others
without the need to have to parse through all the pieces of the score, for instance, could
you simply say something like, programatically that is, this document scored lower compared
to your top 10 b/c it had no values in the foo Field.
* Could even maybe return codes for these reasons which could then be hooked into actual user
messages.

I don't have anything concrete patch-wise here, but am putting this up as a way to capture
the idea and potentially spur others to think about it.


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