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From "Sharma, Siddharth" <>
Subject RE: Is Lucene right for me?
Date Mon, 10 Oct 2005 21:05:35 GMT

Thanks for the reply. The posting was an excellent write-up and helped me
visualize my problem domain and solution better.

I like the idea about storing filter information in the contract index
indexed by company. It might work in my case.

I am not sure if I understand the BitSet solution though. Can you give me
implementation specifics around that?
Are you suggesting storing BitSet information in the document of each
cat/subcat and that the boolean value of each bit will correspond to whether
the product is blocked or not? In other words, each bit will correspond to
one product within that cat/subcat?


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Hostetter [] 
Sent: Sunday, October 09, 2005 9:05 PM
Subject: Re: Is Lucene right for me?

: I am evaluating Lucene for this purpose. I realize I am attempting to use
: primarily a search engine as an inclusion/exclusion index solution, where
: data about contracts, customers and blocking rules is in the index, and
: Lucene provides the class of products available/forbidden for sale.
: Questions:
: 1. Is this the right use of Lucene?

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Lucene can easily be
used for applying inclusion/exclusion rules to generate a product catalog
-- that's exactly what I do with it -- but it doesn't particularly
facilitate it.

If you haven't seen this post, you should start by reading it...
ory-Listings-t266441.html#a748420 strikes me as a very similar situation to what you are describing.

I would suggest you store each product as a document in your index, and
impliment your exclusion rules as Filters.  When a user comes to your
site, identify what set of exclusion rules applies to them, and generate a
Filter to corrispond to those rules.  Then let them search/browse as
needed.   how you store those exclusion rules is up to you.  In my case i
put them in stored fields in special metadata documes in my index, using
an XML representation that i can use to easily construct filter objects.
I can imagine it might make sense for you to store "contract" documents in
your index, with "companyId" as an indexed field.  When a user comes to
your site and says they are with companyId#1234, you do one search to get
all the "contracts" associated with that company, and then parse those
documents to generate a list of Filters to compose together on all
searches done by the user.

One last comment...

:    b. Given these list of SKUs, tell me which ones are blocked and which
:       are not by looking at all the blocking rules defined at the category
:       or individual SKU level.

: Is Lucene's Query API flexible enough to support such different queries?
: Will it scale for query b, where the list of SKUs may be large

What made it possible for me to impliment my project at all (let alone
with lucene) was the ability to deal with sets of documents as BitSets.  I
didn't have to worry about finding the intersections of large sets of
product SKUs - i just had to AND some some BitSets.  In short, I don't
think you'll ever find a need to query for a list of thousands of SKUs, I
think you'll find it easier to query for farious rules/categories and get
a BitSet which identifies all of the documents for the products those SKUs
represent in your index.


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