Solr Result Grouping / Field Collapsing

16 09 2010

Result Grouping, also called Field Collapsing, has been committed to Solr!
This functionality limits the number of documents for each “group”, usually defined by the unique values in a field (just like field faceting).

You can think of it like faceted search, except instead of just getting a count, you get the top documents for that constraint or category. There are tons of potential use cases:

  • For web search, only show 1 or 2 results for a given website by collapsing on a site field.
  • For email search, only show 1 or 2 results for a given email thread
  • For e-commerce, show the top 3 products for each store category (i.e. “electronics”, “housewares”)
  • Hiding duplicate documents at query time.

In addition to being able to group by the values of a field, you can also group by the values of a function query. Given that geo search works as a function query, this also opens up possibilities for showing top query matches within 1 mile, between 1 and 2 miles, etc.

Just like faceting, we’ll be adding new functionality and making continual improvements.
Result Grouping is documented on the Solr Wiki, and you will need a recent
nightly build of Solr 4.0-dev to try it out (just make sure it’s dated after this post).

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