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From Avi Rosenschein <arosensch...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Relevancy Practices
Date Wed, 05 May 2010 16:40:47 GMT
On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 5:08 PM, Grant Ingersoll <gsingers@apache.org> wrote:

>
> On May 2, 2010, at 5:50 AM, Avi Rosenschein wrote:
>
> > On 4/30/10, Grant Ingersoll <gsingers@apache.org> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Apr 30, 2010, at 8:00 AM, Avi Rosenschein wrote:
> >>> Also, tuning the algorithms to the users can be very important. For
> >>> instance, we have found that in a basic search functionality, the
> default
> >>> query parser operator OR works very well. But on a page for advanced
> >>> users,
> >>> who want to very precisely tune their search results, a default of AND
> >>> works
> >>> better.
> >>
> >> Avi,
> >>
> >> Great example.  Can you elaborate on how you arrived at this conclusion?
> >> What things did you do to determine it was a problem?
> >>
> >> -Grant
> >
> > Hi Grant,
> >
> > Sure. On http://wiki.answers.com/, we use search in a variety of
> > places and ways.
> >
> > In the basic search box (what you get if you look stuff up in the main
> > Ask box on the home page), we generally want the relevancy matching to
> > be pretty fuzzy. For example, if the user looked up "Where can you see
> > photos of the Aurora Borealis effect?" I would still want to show them
> > "Where can you see photos of the Aurora Borealis?" as a match.
> >
> > However, the advanced search page,
> > http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Search, is used by advanced users to
> > filter questions by various facets and searches, and to them it is
> > important for the filter to filter out non-matches, since they use it
> > as a working page. For example, if they want to do a search for "Harry
> > Potter" and classify all results into the "Harry Potter" category, it
> > is important that not every match for "Harry" is returned.
>
> I'm curious, Avi, if you can share how you came to these conclusions?  For
> instance, did you have any qualitative evidence that "fuzzy" was better for
> the main page?  Or was it a "I know it when I see it" kind of thing.
>

I guess it was an "I know it when I see it" kind of thing. But it is
supported by evidence from our testing team and direct feedback from users.
I guess one could say that the difference is less in level of user
sophistication (though that is part of it), and more in user expectation
when using different input methods of search.

Our home page encourages asking questions in natural language, and therefore
search based on that query is going to need to be "fuzzier" than a strict
match of all the terms.

-- Avi

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