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From Erik Hatcher <>
Subject Re: One direction phrase searches
Date Tue, 02 Sep 2003 23:39:51 GMT
On Tuesday, September 2, 2003, at 04:11  PM, Joe Paulsen wrote:
> It seems when I do a search such as "covered wagon" ~5 or the like,
> the systems disregards the order of my terms.  I.E., it will find 
> covered
> within 5 of wagon and it will also find wagon within 5 of covered.

I wanted to see this in action myself, so I coded up a small unit test:

     public void testOrderDoesntMatter() throws Exception {
         Directory directory = new RAMDirectory();
         IndexWriter writer = new IndexWriter(directory, new 
WhitespaceAnalyzer(), true);
         Document doc = new Document();
         doc.add(Field.Text("field", "one two"));

         IndexSearcher searcher = new IndexSearcher(directory);
         PhraseQuery query = new PhraseQuery();
         query.add(new Term("field", "two"));
         query.add(new Term("field", "one"));
         Hits hits =;
         assertEquals(1, hits.length());

Notice that I'm searching for "two one"~5 (yet indexed "one two") and 
it found 1 hit.

And then, like a typical programmer, I looked at the Javadocs *after* 
coding :) and found this on PhraseQuery:

   /** Sets the number of other words permitted between words in query 
     If zero, then this is an exact phrase search.  For larger values 
this works
     like a <code>WITHIN</code> or <code>NEAR</code> operator.

     <p>The slop is in fact an edit-distance, where the units correspond 
     moves of terms in the query phrase out of position.  For example, 
to switch
     the order of two words requires two moves (the first move places 
the words
     atop one another), so to permit re-orderings of phrases, the slop 
must be
     at least two.

     <p>More exact matches are scored higher than sloppier matches, thus 
     results are sorted by exactness.

     <p>The slop is zero by default, requiring exact matches.*/
   public void setSlop(int s) { slop = s; }

So what you observe is the correct documented behavior.

> Is there anyway to make the system respond only to the order of the
> terms as entered in the query?

I'm sure there is a way to make an OrderedPhraseQuery, although I'll 
need to do some more homework myself to craft such a thing.  All the 
information to do such a thing is available, although maybe it wouldn't 
be as performant as PhraseQuery (just a guess, no facts to back that up 


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