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From Tim Sturge <>
Subject Re: Term numbering and range filtering
Date Tue, 11 Nov 2008 01:42:14 GMT
Reading this I realize how unclear it is, so let me give a concrete example:

I want to do a search restricting users by age range. So someone can ask for
the users 18-35, 40-60 etc.

Here are the options I considered:

1) construct a RangeQuery. This is a 20-40 clause boolean subquery in an
otherwise 1 or 2 clause query and I'd like to avoid that. It also has
scoring artifacts I wish to avoid (I don't want users to rank higher just
because we have less users of that particular age).

2) construct a ConstantScoreRangeQuery. Then I'm forced to iterate all the
users in the age range for each query. This was cost-prohibitive.

3) cache filters for each age range. Problem is there are 50 starting points
and 50 ending points and caching 2500 filters is unrealistic.

4) cache filters for each age, and or them together for each query (there's
stuff in contrib that does this.) This is best so far, but does require
caching 50 filters and doing 20 bitset ors per query on an 8MB bitset.

So what I thought would be interesting is

5) build an array of bytes where the n-th byte contains the age of user n.
Given the range it's fairly trivial to make this behave like a filter (ie
it's relatively easy to implement next() and skipTo() efficiently and
trivial to decide if a document is in the range or not.)

Then I realized this approach would make sense not just for ages, but also
for countries, date ranges and zip code sets, so I thought I'd ask if anyone
had tried it before.

Part of me assumes that someone must have done this already; so either
there's an implementation out there already or there's a good reason I don't
see that this is entirely impractical. So I'm interested to get feedback.


On 11/10/08 2:26 PM, "Tim Sturge" <> wrote:

> I think we've gone around in a loop here. It's exactly due to the inadequacy
> of cached filters that I'm considering what I'm doing.
> Here's the section from my first email that is most illuminating:
> "
> The reason I have this question is that I am writing a multi-filter for single
> term fields. My index contains many fields for which each document contains a
> single term (e.g. date, zipcode, country) and I need to perform range queries
> or set matches over these fields, many of which are very inclusive (they match
> >10% of the total documents)
> A cached RangeFilter works well when there are a small number of potential
> options (e.g. for countries) but when there are many options (consider a date
> range or a set of zipcodes) there are too many potential choices to cache each
> possibility and it is too inefficient to build a filter on the fly for each
> query (as you have to visit 10% of documents to build the filter despite the
> query itself matching 0.1%)
> Therefore I was considering building a int[reader.maxDocs()] array for each
> field and putting into it the term number for each document. This relies on
> the fact that each document contains only a single term for this field, but
> with it I should be able to quickly construct a ³multi-filter² (that is,
> something that iterates the array and checks that the term is in the range or
> set).
> "
> Does this help explain my rationale? The reason I'm posting here is that I
> imagine there are lots of people with this issue. In particular date ranges
> seem to be something that lots of people use but Lucene implements fairly
> poorly.
> Tim
> On 11/10/08 1:58 PM, "Paul Elschot" <> wrote:
>> Op Monday 10 November 2008 22:21:20 schreef Tim Sturge:
>>> Hmmm -- I hadn't thought about that so I took a quick look at the
>>> term vector support.
>>> What I'm really looking for is a compact but performant
>>> representation of a set of filters on the same (one term field).
>>> Using term vectors would mean an algorithm similar to:
>>> String myfield;
>>> String myterm;
>>> TermVector tv;
>>> for (int i = 0 ;  i < maxDoc ; i++) {
>>>     tv = reader.getTermFreqVector(i,country)
>>>     if (tv.indexOf(myterm) != -1) {
>>>           // include this doc...
>>>         }
>>> }
>>> The key thing I am looking to achieve here is performance comparable
>>> to filters. I suspect getTermFremVector() is not efficient enough but
>>> I'll give it a try.
>> Better use a TermDocs on myterm for this, have a look at the code of
>> RangeFilter.
>> Filters are normally created from a slower query by setting a bit in an
>> OpenBitSet at "include this doc". Then they are reused for their speed.
>> Filter caching could help. In case memory becomes a problem
>> and the filters are sparse enough, try and use SortedVIntList
>> as the underlying data structure in the cache. (Sparse enough means
>> less than 1 in 8 of all docs available the index reader.)
>> See also LUCENE-1296 for caching another data structure than the
>> one used to collect the filtered docs.
>> Regards,
>> Paul Elschot
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