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From "Erick Erickson" <>
Subject Re: SpanQuery and database join
Date Mon, 13 Aug 2007 19:09:55 GMT
Thanks for writing this up. Do you think this is an appropriate subject
for the Wiki performance page?


On 8/13/07, Peter Keegan <> wrote:
> I've been experimenting with using SpanQuery to perform what is
> essentially
> a limited type of database 'join'. Each document in the index contains 1
> or
> more 'rows' of meta data from another 'table'. The meta data are simple
> tokens representing a column name/value pair ( e.g. color$red or
> location$123).  Each row is represented by a span with a maximum token
> length equal to the maximum number of meta data columns. If a column has
> multiple values, they are all indexed at the same position ( e.g.
> color$red,
> color$blue). All rows are added to a single field. The spans are
> 'separated'
> from each other by introducing a position gap between them via '
> Analyzer.getPositionIncrementGap'. This gap should be greater than the
> number of columns in each span.
> At query time, a SpanNearQuery is constructed to represent the meta data
> to
> join. The 'slop' value is set to the maximum number of meta data columns
> (minus 1). Using a simple Antlr parser, boolean span queries with AND, OR,
> NOT can be constructed fairly easily. The SpanQuery is And'd to the main
> query to build the final query.
> This approach is flexible and pretty efficient because no stored fields or
> external data are accessed at query time. Span queries are more expensive
> compared than other queries, though. We measure performance via throughput
> (as opposed to the response time for a single query), and the addition of
> a
> SpanQuery reduced throughput by 5X for ordered spans and 10X for unordered
> spans. Still, this may be acceptable for some applications, especially if
> spans are not used on every query.
> I thought this might interest some of you.
> Peter

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