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From Grant Ingersoll <>
Subject Re: How to index word-pairs and phrases
Date Tue, 19 Feb 2008 01:35:27 GMT
Hi Ghinwa,

A Term is simply a unit of tokenization that has been indexed for a  
Field, produced by a TokenStream.   In the demo, on the main site,  
this can be seen in the file called on line 56:
IndexWriter writer = new IndexWriter(INDEX_DIR, new  
StandardAnalyzer(), true, IndexWriter.MaxFieldLength.LIMITED);

The key being that the StandardAnalyzer is used to get a TokenStream.   
The method returns a Token.  All a Term is, is a  
Token that has been indexed for a given Field.  In a nutshell, though,  
a Term is whatever you want it to be, based on your Analyzer.  It  
could be a whole document as a single string or it could be a string  
containing a single character.  In reality, it usually corresponds to  
a single word.

Have a look at the wiki, also, as there are many talks and articles  
explaining all of this.  Lucene In Action, while outdated, is also an  
excellent book for explaining this stuff (with the exception that some  
of the code examples no longer work on the latest Lucene version)

Getting beyond that, you will need to look into adding spell checking  
(in Lucene's "contrib" area) and other features like stemming and  
synonyms to handle the various issues you bring up.

Hope that helps,

On Feb 18, 2008, at 7:36 PM, Ghinwa Choueiter wrote:

> Hi,
> I am new to Lucene and have been reading the documentation. I would  
> like to use Lucene to query a song database by lyrics. The query  
> could potentially contain typos, or even wrong words, word  
> contractions (can't versus cannot), etc..
> I would like to create an inverted list by word pairs and possibly  
> phrases and not just by isolated words. For example:
> <w1,w2>   < d1, d10, d27>
> <w2,w3>   <d2, d13>
> ...
> OR even
> <phrase 1> <d1, d3,...>
> <phrase 2> <...>
> ...
> It seems to me that, by default, the index in Lucene stores  
> statistics for isolated words. The Lucene documentation refers to  
> the word "Term" all the time and seems to imply that "Term" can be a  
> word or a phrase, but I can't see how IndexWriter can read a  
> document and index it by word pairs.
> thank you in advance for the answers and my apologies if I did not  
> get the terminology quite right.
> -Ghinwa

Grant Ingersoll

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