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From Grant Ingersoll <>
Subject Re: Relevancy Practices
Date Wed, 05 May 2010 14:08:41 GMT

On May 2, 2010, at 5:50 AM, Avi Rosenschein wrote:

> On 4/30/10, Grant Ingersoll <> 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, 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,
>, 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.

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