Boosts Considered Harmful – adventures with badly configured search

During a recent client visit we encountered a common problem in search - over-application of 'boosts', which can be used to weight the influence of matches in one particular field. For example, you might sensibly use this to make results that match a query on their title field come higher in search results. However in this case we saw huge boost values used (numbers in the hundreds) which were probably swamping everything else - and it wasn't at all clear where the values had come from, be it ex...Continue reading

XJoin for Solr, part 1: filtering using price discount data

In this blog post I want to introduce you to a new Apache Solr plugin component called XJoin. I'll show how we can use this to solve a common problem in e-commerce - how to use price discount data, provided by an external web API, to either filter the results of a product search or boost scores. A further post will show another example, using click-through data to influence the score of subsequent searches.

What is XJoin?

...Continue reading

Out and about in search & monitoring – Autumn 2015

It's been a very busy few months for events - so busy that it's quite a relief to be back in the office! Back in late November I travelled to Vienna to speak at the FIBEP World Media Intelligence Congress with our client Infomedia about how we've helped them to migrate their media monitoring platform from the elderly, unsupported and hard to scale Continue reading