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From Volodymyr Bychkoviak <>
Subject Re: Paging results
Date Wed, 29 Mar 2006 10:21:57 GMT

Marios Skounakis wrote:
>  Hi all,
> I have the following issue (I am giving a quantified example so we can 
> talk more concretely)
> My documents have an docId field, stored as a keyword field.
> I am executing searches that return between 2000 and 10000 documents 
> and sorting the results by relevance (or sometimes alphabetically).
> In every query, I need to discard some of the results based on their 
> docId. I have a list of the docIds that need to be discarded in an 
> array. The size of the list is usually about 100.
> I generally perform paging, so I don't need to display all the 
> results, but only those of the current page (e.g. results 100 to 120)
> Currently, after getting the Hits object from the Searcher, I loop 
> over the documents, retrieve their docId, and see if it is in the 
> discard list. If not, I put the document in a validResult collection. 
> When I have read enough valid results to be able to show the current 
> page, I stop. E.g., in the above example, I would read until I had 120 
> valid results.
> The problem with this implementation is that I have to read the docId 
> for the results that precede the current page, in order to determine 
> if they are in the invalid list. So, when showing the pages near the 
> last page, I have to read the entire result list. I don't like this 
> because this means that the computation required to display a page is 
> not constant but depends on the page's position. Anyway, what do the 
> experts think? Is this implementation prohibitively expensive?
> (As a sidenote, when calling hits.doc(i), does Lucene retrieve the 
> whole document, or just a pointer to it, and retrieves the data when 
> doing hits.doc(i).getField...?)
Yes, Lucene does retrieve the whole document on this call.
> An alternative would be to extend the query to exclude the ids in the 
> discard list. How would adding 100 exclusion clauses to the query 
> impact the query's performance? Are there any studies on search speed 
> in relation to the number of query clauses?
It's preferred way of doing such things. Adding 100 exclusion clauses 
into query will much less expensive than retrieving documents and 
checking their field.
> Is there another way to do handle this issue?
> Many thanks in advance,
> Marios Skounakis
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Volodymyr Bychkoviak

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