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From "Robert Muir (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LUCENE-8878) Provide alternative sorting utility from SortField other than FieldComparator
Date Wed, 26 Jun 2019 12:19:00 GMT


Robert Muir commented on LUCENE-8878:

Please don't forget about the distance sort comparator, it really needs hooks into its priority
queue too:

In this case, it is not a small performance difference if we were to simplify the API, it
would become much slower. I'm afraid {{compare(Object,Object)}} isn't going to cut it.

> Provide alternative sorting utility from SortField other than FieldComparator
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LUCENE-8878
>                 URL:
>             Project: Lucene - Core
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: core/search
>    Affects Versions: 8.1.1
>            Reporter: Tony Xu
>            Priority: Major
> The `FieldComparator` has many responsibilities and users get all of them at once. At
high level the main functionalities of `FieldComparator` are
>  * Provide LeafFieldComparator
>  * Allocate storage for requested number of hits
>  * Read the values from DocValues/Custom source etc.
>  * Compare two values
> There are two major areas for improvement
>  # The logic of reading values and storing them are coupled.
>  # User need to specify the size in order to create a `FieldComparator` but sometimes
the size is unknown upfront.
>  # From `FieldComparator`'s API, one can't reason about thread-safety so it is not suitable
for concurrent search.
>  E.g. Can two concurrent thread use the same `FieldComparator` to call `getLeafComparator`
for two different segments they are working on? In fact, almost all existing implementations
of `FieldComparator` are not thread-safe.
> The proposal is to enhance `SortField` with two APIs
>  # {color:#14892c}int compare(Object v1, Object v2){color} – this is to compare two
values from different docs for this field
>  # {color:#14892c}ValueAccessor newValueAccessor(LeafReaderContext leaf){color} – This
encapsulate the logic for obtaining the right implementation in order to read the field values.
>  `ValueAccessor` should be accessed in a similar way as `DocValues` to provide the sort
value for a document in an advance & read fashion.
> With this API, hopefully we can reduce the memory usage when using `FieldComparator`
because the users either store the sort values or at least the slot number besides the storage
allocated by `FieldComparator` itself. Ideally, only once copy of the values should be stored.
> The proposed API is also more friendly to concurrent search since it provides the `ValueAccessor`
per leaf. Although same `ValueAccessor` can't be shared if there are more than one thread
working on the same leaf, at least they can initialize their own `ValueAccessor`.

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