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From Chris Hostetter <hossman_luc...@fucit.org>
Subject Re: To Sort or not to Sort
Date Fri, 17 Dec 2004 01:31:26 GMT
: In my application, users search for messages with Lucene.  Typically,
: they are more interested in seeing their hits in date-order than in
: relevance-order.  In reading my ebook copy of "Lucene in action" (wish
: I'd had that a year ago), I find that one of the features added in 1.4
: was the ability to ask for hits in an order based on a field.  It also
: looks like adding the field necessary to get things by date order is
: straight forward.

When considering issues like this, it's important to consider what is
really important to your users: Do they eally want to see items strictly
ordered by date, or do they want to see results sorted by relevancy --
where the "recentness" of an item influences how "relevent" it is.

For example, when I search theLucene users mailing list for "RangeQuery" I
want more recent messages to appear first, but I'd still prefer that a
slightly older message "bubble up" in the list if the Subject includes
"RangeQuery" and the body mentions RangeQuery dozens of times -- because
it's likely to be very relevent then more recent messages which only
mention RangeQuery once or twice -- but I don't want results that are
strictly sorted by term frequency, becuase then messages from 3 years ago
(and several Lucene revs ago) might be at the top of the list.

Depending on how you maintain your index, there are a couple of different
ways of achieving a goal like this.  if you rebuild regularly, then just
giving your more recent documents a higher boost is one way to go.
another would be to use several FilteredQuery(RangeFilter) with several
increasing intervals of dates (ie: today OR the past week OR the past
month OR the past year) so that more recent documents match all of the
clauses, and older documents match fewer (or none)



-Hoss


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