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From Matthew Runo <>
Subject Faceted Hierarchal Navigation
Date Mon, 16 Jul 2007 18:56:38 GMT

I was very surprised to find that this wasn't in the email archive  
for this list.... I'm wondering about the best way to provide  
hierarchal navigation using facets. For example, lets assume that I  
have products with department trees like:

Footwear > Mens > Hiking > Waterproof  (could be arbitrarily deep  

Now, I need to make a "Mens Footwear" landing page. So ok, I'll facet  
on "department", for a search of "mens+footwear" present in  

Oops.. now I'm showing lots and lots and lots of departments, because  
I don't know which ones are "higher level" than others. Since each  
department has many departments under it, a full list would be so  
long that people wouldn't use it. Information overload.

Ok, so I'll break up the "department" field, and put it into  
"top_level_department" and "mid_level_department" and the rest of the  
items just in "department". The landing page will facet  
"top_level_department", and upon rendering the page I'll query SOLR  
to get all the "mid_level_department" facets for that  
top_level_department. Then, if the user clicks on one of these, we'll  
facet on "department" to get the rest of them (and the products) with  
the other two levels as filter queries.

That would work (right?), but it seems horribly wasteful to run all  
those extra queries to get the sub-department facets. Surely there is  
a better way here.. just waiting to be brought to light.

How have you implemented hierarchal navigation via SOLR?

  | Matthew Runo
  | Zappos Development
  | 702-943-7833

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