Queries

To search with Nutch, just type in a few words.
  • Results only include pages that contain all of the query words.
  • Use quotes around words that must occur adjacently, as a phrase, e.g., "New Zealand".
  • Punctuation between words also triggers phrase matching. So searching for http://www.nutch.org/ is the same as searching for "http www nutch org".
  • Searches are not case-sensitive, so searching for NuTcH is the same as searching for nUtCh.
  • You can prohibit a term from resulting pages by putting a minus before it, e.g., searching for football -nfl will find pages that discuss football, but don't use the word "nfl".
  • That's it!

Results

Each matching page in the results has the following links:
  • (cached) displays the version of the page that Nutch downloaded.
  • (anchors) shows the list of incoming anchors indexed for this page.

Expanding Results

At the end of the results of a search you will see an icon to "Expand Search to Referenced Sites"

Expand Search

Clicking this button will re-run your query, this time searching on websites mentioned in answers of digital refernece services. Where basic search of Reference Extract searches answers, an expanded query searches on the sites ited in those answers. The figure below illustrates teh relationship:


Advanced Search Options

The following information is from the "Lucene" project that is at the core of Reference Extract

Fields

Lucene supports fielded data. When performing a search you can either specify a field, or use the default field. The field names and default field is implementation specific.

You can search any field by typing the field name followed by a colon ":" and then the term you are looking for.

As an example, let's assume a Lucene index contains two fields, title and text and text is the default field. If you want to find the document entitled "The Right Way" which contains the text "don't go this way", you can enter:

title:"The Right Way" AND text:go

or

title:"Do it right" AND right

Since text is the default field, the field indicator is not required.

Note: The field is only valid for the term that it directly precedes, so the query

title:Do it right

Will only find "Do" in the title field. It will find "it" and "right" in the default field (in this case the text field).


Term Modifiers

Lucene supports modifying query terms to provide a wide range of searching options.

Wildcard Searches

Lucene supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.

To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.

To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

te?t

Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:

test*

You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.

te*t

Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.


Fuzzy Searches

Lucene supports fuzzy searches based on the Levenshtein Distance, or Edit Distance algorithm. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:

roam~

This search will find terms like foam and roams.

Starting with Lucene 1.9 an additional (optional) parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:

roam~0.8

The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.


Proximity Searches

Lucene supports finding words are a within a specific distance away. To do a proximity search use the tilde, "~", symbol at the end of a Phrase. For example to search for a "apache" and "jakarta" within 10 words of each other in a document use the search:

"jakarta apache"~10

Boosting a Term

Lucene provides the relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found. To boost a term use the caret, "^", symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.

Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term. For example, if you are searching for

jakarta apache

and you want the term "jakarta" to be more relevant boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term. You would type:

jakarta^4 apache

This will make documents with the term jakarta appear more relevant. You can also boost Phrase Terms as in the example:

"jakarta apache"^4 "Apache Lucene"

By default, the boost factor is 1. Although the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1 (e.g. 0.2)



Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. Lucene supports AND, "+", OR, NOT and "-" as Boolean operators(Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS).

OR

The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets. The symbol || can be used in place of the word OR.

To search for documents that contain either "jakarta apache" or just "jakarta" use the query:

"jakarta apache" jakarta

or

"jakarta apache" OR jakarta

AND

The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" and "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" AND "Apache Lucene"

+

The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in a the field of a single document.

To search for documents that must contain "jakarta" and may contain "lucene" use the query:

+jakarta apache

NOT

The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. This is equivalent to a difference using sets. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" but not "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" NOT "Apache Lucene"

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT "jakarta apache"

-

The "-" or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" but not "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" -"Apache Lucene"


Grouping

Lucene supports using parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

To search for either "jakarta" or "apache" and "website" use the query:

(jakarta OR apache) AND website

This eliminates any confusion and makes sure you that website must exist and either term jakarta or apache may exist.


Field Grouping

Lucene supports using parentheses to group multiple clauses to a single field.

To search for a title that contains both the word "return" and the phrase "pink panther" use the query:

title:(+return +"pink panther")

Escaping Special Characters

Lucene supports escaping special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list special characters are

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \

To escape these character use the \ before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:

\(1\+1\)\:2