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From Tricia Williams <>
Subject Re: Payloads, Tokenizers, and Filters. Oh My!
Date Sun, 18 Nov 2007 22:10:42 GMT
I apologize for cross-posting but  I believe both Solr and Lucene users 
and developers should be concerned with this.  I am not aware of a 
better way to reach both communities.

In this email I'm looking for comments on:

    * Do TokenFilters belong in the Solr code base at all?
    * How to deal with TokenFilters that add new Tokens to the stream?
    * How to patch TokenFilters and Tokenizers using the model of
      LUCENE-969 in the Solr code base and in Lucene contrib?

Earlier in this thread I identified that at least one TokenFilter is 
eating Payloads (WordDelimiterFilter).

Yonik pointed out:
>> Yes, this will be an issue for many custom tokenizers that don't yet
>> know about payloads but that create tokens.  It's not clear what to do
>> in some cases when multiple tokens are created from one... should
>> identical payloads be created for the new tokens... it depends on what
>> the semantics of those payloads are.
And I responded: 
> I suppose that it is only fair to take this on a case by case basis.  
> Maybe we will have to write new TokenFilters for each Tokenzier that 
> uses Payloads (but I sure hope not!).  Maybe we can build some 
> optional configuration options into the TokenFilter constructor that 
> guide their behavior with regard to Payloads.  Maybe there is 
> something stored in the TokenStream that dictates how the Payloads are 
> handled by the TokenFilters.  Maybe there is no case where identical 
> payloads would not be created for new tokens and we can just change 
> the TokenFilter to deal with payloads directly in a uniform way. 

I thought it might be useful to figure out which existing TokenFilters 
need to know about Payloads.  To this end I have taken an inventory of 
the TokenFilters out there.  I think it is fair to categorize them by 
Add (A), Delete (D), Modify (M), Observe (O):

*org.apache.solr.analysis.*HyphenatedWordsFilter, DM
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*KeepWordFilter, D
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*LengthFilter, D
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*PatternReplaceFilter, M
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*PhoneticFilter, AM
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*RemoveDuplicatesTokenFilter, D
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*SynonymFilter, ADM
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*TrimFilter, M
*org.apache.solr.analysis.*WordDelimiterFilter, AM
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*CachingTokenFilter, O
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*ISOLatin1AccentFilter, M
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*LengthFilter, D
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*LowerCaseFilter, M
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*PorterStemFilter, M
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.*StopFilter, D
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.standard*.StandardFilter, M**BrazilianStemFilter, M
**ChineseFilter, D**GermanStemFilter, M
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.el.*GreekLowerCaseFilter, M
**ElisionFilter, M
**FrenchStemFilter, M
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.ngram.*EdgeNGramTokenFilter, AM
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.ngram.*NGramTokenFilter, AM
**DutchStemFilter, M
**RussianLowerCaseFilter, M
**RussianStemFilter, M
**ThaiWordFilter, AM
*org.apache.lucene.analysis.snowball.*SnowballFilter, M

Some characteristics of Add (A), Delete (D), Modify (M), Observe (O)
Add: new Token() and buffer of Tokens to consider before addressing
Delete: loop ignoring tokens based on some criteria
Modify: new Token(), or use of Token set methods
Observe: rare CachingTokenFilter

The categories of TokenFilters that are affected by Payloads are add and 
modify.  The default behavior of TokenFilters which only delete or 
observe return the Token fed through intact, hence the Payload will 
remain intact.

Maybe the Lucene community has thought about this problem?  I noticed 
that the org.apache.lucene.analysis TokenFilters in the modify category 
(there are none in the add category) refrain from using new Token().  
That led me to the comment in the JavaDocs:
> *NOTE:* As of 2.3, Token stores the term text internally as a 
> malleable char[] termBuffer instead of String termText. The indexing 
> code and core tokenizers have been changed re-use a single Token 
> instance, changing its buffer and other fields in-place as the Token 
> is processed. This provides substantially better indexing performance 
> as it saves the GC cost of new'ing a Token and String for every term. 
> The APIs that accept String termText are still available but a warning 
> about the associated performance cost has been added (below). The 
> |termText()| 
> <>

> method has been deprecated.
> Tokenizers and filters should try to re-use a Token instance when 
> possible for best performance, by implementing the 
> || 
> <>

> API. Failing that, to create a new Token you should first use one of 
> the constructors that starts with null text. Then you should call 
> either |termBuffer()| 
> <>

> or |resizeTermBuffer(int)| 
> <>

> to retrieve the Token's termBuffer. Fill in the characters of your 
> term into this buffer, and finally call |setTermLength(int)| 
> <>

> to set the length of the term text. See LUCENE-969 
> <> for details.
The patch mentioned modifies the Tokenizers and TokenFilters in the 
Lucene core code base to abide by the suggestions made.  This would mean 
that the TokenFilters in my modify category would have the default 
behavior of the Payload of the modified Token remaining intact.  I would 
argue that when/if the Solr community starts using Lucene 2.3 that a 
similar patch should be created for the TokenFilters there but I wonder 
if the TokenFilters belong in Solr's domain at all.  At some point the 
TokenFilters and Tokenizers in the contrib sections of Lucene should 
also be patched with the suggestions.

If this occurs then we only have to consider the add case.  I don't 
think we can avoid looking at this on a case by case basis, but most of 
the add cases are providing alternate terms for the same position.  In 
that case the payload would simply be copied to the new Token much like 
the Token's positionIncrement.

Thanks for your input,

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