Proximity Search Operators

You can apply proximity operators to words, exact phrases, or Boolean expressions to perform a proximity search. Note the following details:

Proximity search operators

Operator Explanation
NEARN

Returns only documents in which the second term is within N words of the first term—that is, the terms are N or fewer words apart. If you do not specify N, NEAR defaults to 5. For example:

action=Query&Text=red+NEAR1+green

This query returns only documents in which the term red is adjacent to the term green. For example, documents that contain red green or green red return. Documents that contain red orange green do not return (because the terms are not close enough to each other).

DNEARN

Directed NEAR. Returns only documents in which the second term is within N words of the first term, in the specified order. If you do not specify N, DNEAR defaults to 5. For example:

action=Query&Text=red+DNEAR2+green

This query returns only documents in which the term green follows the term red, and is no more than two words away from the term red. For example, documents that contain red orange green return, but documents that contain green orange red or red orange blue green do not return.

WNEARN

Weighted NEAR (with OR operation). This proximity operator returns documents that contain either of the two terms. It promotes relevance when the terms are N or fewer words apart (closer together implies higher relevance). If you do not specify N, WNEAR defaults to 5. For example:

action=Query&Text=dog+WNEAR7+cat

This query returns documents that contain either dog or cat. It gives extra relevance to documents in which dog and cat appear seven or fewer words apart in a piece of text. This weight increases as the terms get closer to each other. Documents in which the terms occur more than seven words apart, or in which only one term occurs, return with normal relevance.

YNEARN

Weighted NEAR (with AND operation). This proximity operator returns documents that contain both of the terms. It promotes relevance when the terms are N or fewer words apart (closer together implies higher relevance). If you do not specify N, YNEAR defaults to 5. For example:

action=Query&Text=dog+YNEAR7+cat

This query returns documents that contain both dog and cat. It gives extra relevance to documents in which dog and cat appear seven or fewer words apart in a piece of text. This weight increases as the terms get closer to each other. Documents in which the terms occur more than seven words apart return with the normal relevance.

BEFORE

Returns only documents in which the first term precedes the second one. For example:

action=Query&Text=red+BEFORE+green

This query returns only documents in which the term green appears later than the term red.

You can also use BEFORE for FieldText queries. For a FieldText query to successfully compare two occurrences of the same field, you must set the XMLFullStructure configuration parameter to True in the [Server] section of the IDOL Content component configuration file.

AFTER

Returns only documents in which the first term appears later than the second one. For example:

action=Query&Text=red+AFTER+green

This query returns only documents in which the term red appears later than the term green.

You can also use AFTER for FieldText queries. For a FieldText query to successfully compare two occurrences of the same field, you must set the XMLFullStructure configuration parameter to True in the [Server] section of the IDOL Content component configuration file.

XNEAR

Returns only documents in which the second term is exactly N words from the first term.

For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+XNEAR2+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs follows the term cats and is exactly two words away from the term cats. This means that documents which contain cats and dogs return, but documents that contain dogs and cats or cats, dogs do not return.

SENTENCE

Returns only documents in which the second term is in the same sentence as the first term.

For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+SENTENCE+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs appears in the same sentence as the word cats.

The IDOL Content component breaks the document into sentences by using a number of criteria. The most important criteria is the detection of an end of sentence marker, which includes a period (.), question mark (?), or exclamation point (!), as well as their multibyte variants. However, the presence of one of these characters is not always sufficient to mark the end of a sentence, because these characters are often used in abbreviations, names, and other items for purposes other than the end of a sentence. To locate a more accurate sentence boundary, Content also uses characteristics such as capitalization and syntactic observations.

SENTENCENN

Returns only documents in which the second term is in the same sentence as the first term, and they are within NN words of each other. For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+SENTENCE10+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs occurs in the same sentence as, and within 10 words of, the word cats.

NOTE:

SENTENCE0 has the same behavior as SENTENCE.

DSENTENCE

Returns only documents in which the second term occurs later than the first term, in the same sentence. For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+DSENTENCE+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs occurs later than the word cats, in the same sentence.

DSENTENCENN

Returns only documents in which the second term occurs later than the first term, and within NN words in the same sentence. For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+DSENTENCE10+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs occurs later in the same sentence than, and within 10 words of, the word cats.

NOTE:

DSENTENCE0 has the same behavior as DSENTENCE.

PARAGRAPH

Returns only documents in which the second term is in the same paragraph as the first term.

For example:

action=Query&Text=red+PARAGRAPH+green

This query returns only documents in which the term green appears in the same paragraph as the word red. The words do not have to be in the same sentence in the paragraph.

PARAGRAPHNN

Returns only documents in which the second term is in the same paragraph as the first term, and they are within NN words of each other. For example:

action=Query&Text=cats+PARAGRAPH20+dogs

This query returns only documents in which the term dogs occurs in the same paragraph as, and within 20 words of, the word cats.

NOTE:

PARAGRAPH0 has the same behavior as PARAGRAPH.


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