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From "Erick Erickson" <>
Subject Re: Fast index traversal and update for stored field?
Date Fri, 16 Mar 2007 21:24:04 GMT
Yet another idea just occurred. Remember that documents in
Lucene do not all have to have the same field. So what if you had
a *very special document* in your index that contained only the
changing info? Perhaps in XML or even binary format? Then, updating
your index would only involve deleting and re-adding this one
document. That document would never interfere with other
documents because you'd never search on that particular field.
You could then think about reading that document at start-up and
building your secondary (in this case ephemeral) index.

Whoaaaaa, something just percolated to the top of my brain. Extend
this last idea, and instead of storing the data, index it "super extra
specially". That is.... Imagine that no document in your index has
a field called "meta". Imagine further that you have your doc ID
data pairs in the form "12345:data", "84943932:data"....
You then index like this...

Document special = new Document();
special.add(new Field(new Term("meta", "12345:data"));
special.add(new Field(new Term("meta", "84943932:data"));

Where the analyzer you use (PerFieldAnalyzerWrapper?) indexes
the "meta" field as UN_TOKENIZED.

Now, it's trivial to get the data corresponding to your doc ID, just use
TermDocs/RegexTermEnum. In fact, I believe you only need RegexTermEnum
because there'll only be one document that all "meta" terms appear in.
You then try to seek to the term "12345:*" and there should be
exactly one of them, and just splitting on the ':' will give you the updated
data. This keeps all your data in a single index, and doesn't require
complicated coordination of separate indexes. You only have a single
document to delete and re-add, and the form of that document as
amenable to batch updating.

Look, if this is incoherent, it's after 5:00 on Friday <G>. I'm curious
if this works for you though......

There's probably some bookeeping here to be able to quickly find the
document in order to delete it, but it'd be easy to also index one
field new Term("superextraspecialdocument" "deleteme") to be
able to find it at update time.....


On 3/14/07, Thomas K. Burkholder <> wrote:
> Hey, thanks for the quick reply.
> I've considered using a secondary index just for this data but
> thought I would look at storing the data in lucene first, since
> ultimately this data gets transported to an outside system, and it's
> a lot easier if there's only one "thing" to transfer.  The
> destination environment that receives this lucene index doesn't (and
> shouldn't) have access to the database, which is why we don't simply
> store it there.  Even if it did, we try not to access the database
> for search results when we don't have to, as this tends to make
> searching slow (as I think you were alluding to).
> Sounds like there's nothing "out of the box" to solve my problem; if
> I write something to update lucene indexes in place I'll follow up
> about it in here (don't know that I will though; building a new,
> narrower index is probably more expedient and will probably be fast
> enough for my purposes in this case).
> Thanks again,
> //Thomas
> On Mar 14, 2007, at 4:50 PM, Erick Erickson wrote:
> > If you search the mail archive for "update in place" (no quotes),
> > you'll find extensive discussions of this idea. Although you're
> > raising an interesting variant because you're talking about a non-
> > indexed field, so now I'm not sure those discussions are relevant.
> >
> > I don't know of anyone who has done what you're asking though...
> >
> > But if it's just stored data, you could go out to a database and
> > pick it up at search time, although there are sound reasons for
> > not requiring a database connection.
> >
> > What about having a separate index for just this one field? And
> > make it an indexed value, along with some id (not the Lucene ID,
> > probably) of your original. Something like
> >
> > index fields
> > ID  (unique ID for each document)
> > field (the corresponding value).
> >
> > Searching this should be very fast, and if the usual Hits based
> > search wasn't fast enough, perhaps something with
> > termenum/termdocs would be faster.
> >
> > Or you could just index the unique ID and store (but not index)
> > the field. Hits or variants should work for that too.
> >
> > So the general algorithm would be:
> >
> > search main index
> > for each hit:
> >   search second index and fetch that field
> >
> > I have no idea whether this has any traction for your problem
> > space, but I thought I'd mention it. This assumes that building
> > the mutable index would be acceptably fast...
> >
> > Although conceptually, this is really just a Map of ID/value pairs.
> > I have no idea how much data you're talking about, but if it's not
> > a huge data set, might it be possible just to store it in
> > a simple map and look it up that way?
> >
> > And if I'm all wet, I'm sure others will chime in...
> >
> > Best
> > Erick
> > *
> >
> > *
> > On 3/14/07, Thomas K. Burkholder <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi there,
> >>
> >> I'm using lucene to index and store entries from a database table for
> >> ultimate retrieval as search results.  This works fine.  But I find
> >> myself in the position of wanting to occasionally (daily-ish) bulk-
> >> update a single, stored, non-indexed field in every document in the
> >> index, without changing any indexed value at all.
> >>
> >> The obviously documented way to do this would be to remove and then
> >> re-add each updated document successively.  However, I know from
> >> experience that rebuilding our index from scratch in this fashion
> >> would take several hours at least, which is too long to delay pending
> >> incremental index jobs.  It seems to me that at some level it should
> >> be possible to iterate over all the document storage on disk and
> >> modify only the field I'm interested in (no index modification
> >> required remember as this is a field that is stored but not
> >> indexed).  It's plain from the documentation on file formats that it
> >> would be potentially possible to do this from a low level, however
> >> before I go possibly re-inventing that wheel, I'm wondering if anyone
> >> knows of any existing code out there that would aid in solving this
> >> problem.
> >>
> >> Thanks in advance,
> >>
> >> //Thomas
> >> Thomas K. Burkholder
> >> Code Janitor
> >>
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