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From "Halsey, Stephen" <>
Subject RE: Changing the scoring (newest doc date first)
Date Tue, 30 May 2006 18:26:55 GMT

I'm interested in getting a date ordered search on a very large index too, as we are having
some scaling issues with the Sort object and its regeneration, and so was interested in your
question and the answers above.   Aviran mentioned using a boost in the query to get a rough
sort on dates, and I was wondering if you could take this idea further by giving each document
a boost value when its put in the index of the seconds since the epoch for the date you want
that document to have, and then set your Searcher so that it ONLY uses that boost factor when
scoring documents, ignoring all other factors such as term frequency etc etc?

Maybe you could achieve this by making your own copy of the DefaultSimilarity class which
currently looks like this:-


 * Copyright 2004 The Apache Software Foundation
 * Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
 * you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
 * You may obtain a copy of the License at
 * Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
 * distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
 * See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
 * limitations under the License.

/** Expert: Default scoring implementation. */
public class DefaultSimilarity extends Similarity {
  /** Implemented as <code>1/sqrt(numTerms)</code>. */
  public float lengthNorm(String fieldName, int numTerms) {
    return (float)(1.0 / Math.sqrt(numTerms));
  /** Implemented as <code>1/sqrt(sumOfSquaredWeights)</code>. */
  public float queryNorm(float sumOfSquaredWeights) {
    return (float)(1.0 / Math.sqrt(sumOfSquaredWeights));

  /** Implemented as <code>sqrt(freq)</code>. */
  public float tf(float freq) {
    return (float)Math.sqrt(freq);
  /** Implemented as <code>1 / (distance + 1)</code>. */
  public float sloppyFreq(int distance) {
    return 1.0f / (distance + 1);
  /** Implemented as <code>log(numDocs/(docFreq+1)) + 1</code>. */
  public float idf(int docFreq, int numDocs) {
    return (float)(Math.log(numDocs/(double)(docFreq+1)) + 1.0);
  /** Implemented as <code>overlap / maxOverlap</code>. */
  public float coord(int overlap, int maxOverlap) {
    return overlap / (float)maxOverlap;

and calling it something like SimilarityUsingBoostOnly and then make each of the above return
1 always, and then the formula:-

The score of query q for document d is defined in terms of these methods as follows:
score(q,d) =
	Σ 	( tf(t in d) * idf(t)^2 * getBoost(t in q) * getBoost(t.field in d) * lengthNorm(t.field
in d) ) 	 * coord(q,d) * queryNorm(sumOfSqaredWeights)
t in q


will always just return the boost set for that document as the score.

Then use setSimilarity(Similarity similarity) at:-

to set the Similarity to SimilarityUsingBoostOnly for your Searcher, and then every doc you
add to the index use:-

to set the boost of the document to the number of seconds since the epoch that equates to
the date you want to set it to.  Float is limited to 3.4028235E38 and so 38 zeros seems enough
to store this.

The downside that I can see is that you can't then use this index for normal relevance based
sorting as all the boosts will change the relevance, unless you can change the code to ignore
the boosts when you do a relevance search?  Is ignoring this document-wide boost factor something
people think could be easily do-able?  If so then does this seem like a way of getting date
ordered searching working on a very large index?



-----Original Message-----
From: Marcus Falck [] 
Sent: 23 May 2006 09:21
Subject: RE: Changing the scoring (newest doc date first)

Not sure that I understand exactly what you mean.
Doesn't your solution require me to add all documents in correct date range?
Since I will index articles from different systems I can't guarantee that all articles will
be added to the index in correct date order.


From: Doug Cutting []
Sent: Tue 5/23/2006 12:54 AM
Subject: Re: Changing the scoring (newest doc date first)

Marcus Falck wrote: 
> There is however one LARGE problem that we have run into. All search result should be
displayed sorted with the newest document at top. We tried to accomplish this using Lucene's
sort capabilites but quickly ran into large performance bottlenecks. So i figured since the
default sort is by relevance i would like to change the relevance so that we don't even need
to sort the documents. I guess alot of people at this mail list can give me valuable hints
about how to accomplish this! 

> (Since i now about the ability to sort by index id (which i haven't tried) I can also
add that i can't guarantee that all documents will be added in correct date order (remember
the several systems,  the future plans is to buy content from different actors on the market
and index it up).

A HitCollector should help.  Matching documents are passed to a HitCollector in the order
they were added to the index.  So if newer documents were added to your index later, then
the newest N documents are simply the last N documents passed to the HitCollector. 

Could that work? 



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