KnowledgeDex Searching

Information into Knowledge
May 21, 2006
Jeff Elpern


KnowledgeDex is the SQI technology for indexing and searching application components of the Client Interface Environment. With the release of KnowledgeDex 2.0 the search functionality is integrated into the AppBar. This facilitates searching without moving from the current view. The 2.0 release also introduces “Real Time Results” where the top hits are displayed as you enter the search criteria.

This document presents: 1) an introduction to the Incremental Real Time Results window and 2) documentation on building search criteria. The strategic value of KnowledgeDex is presented in the article KnowledgeDex Powers Intellectual Capital Deliver

Search with Real Time Incremental Results

Search queries are entered into the search box within the Application Bar at the top of CIE (see graphic below). Criteria can be as simple as a single word, a set of a couple of words or as complex as vary sophisticated selection rules. (See the next section.)


Figure 1: Search box

With any pause of a second or more in the input of criteria, KnowledgeDex will return the top 10 hits. You can continue to refine you search or, if you see something interesting, you can select one of the result links. SQI calls this Incremental Real Time Results.

View a video of Real Time Incremental Search provided by KnowledgeDex - Quicktime or Windows Media File

Score and Document Type

The results drop-down window presents a search score and a document-type icon for each hit (see the number on the left of each result line in the graphic above). The search score is a relative measure of how good a fit the associated document is with the search criteria. 100 is a perfect match and 0 is no match at all.

Movie of "Real Time Results"


Search Criteria


A query is broken up into terms and operators. There are two types of terms: Single Terms and Phrases.

A Single Term is a single word such as test or hello.

A Phrase is a group of words surrounded by double quotes such as "hello dolly".

Multiple terms can be combined together with Boolean operators to form a more complex query (see below).

Term Modifiers

KnowledgeDex Searching supports modifying query terms to provide a wide range of searching options.

Wildcard Searches

KnowledgeDex Searching supports single and multiple character wildcard searches.

To perform a single character wildcard search use the "?" symbol.

To perform a multiple character wildcard search use the "*" symbol.

The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match that with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:


Multiple character wildcard searches looks for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:


You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.


Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Fuzzy Searches

KnowledgeDex Searching supports fuzzy searches based on the Levenshtein Distance, or Edit Distance algorithm. To do a fuzzy search use the tilde, ~, symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:


This search will find terms like foam and roams.

With KnowledgeDex Searching, an additional (optional) parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:


The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.

Proximity Searches

KnowledgeDex Searching supports finding words are a within a specific distance away. To do a proximity search use the tilde, ~, symbol at the end of a Phrase. For example to search for a apache and jakarta within 10 words of each other in a document use the search:

"jakarta apache"~10

Boosting a Term

KnowledgeDex Searching provides the relevance level of matching documents based on the terms found. To boost a term use the caret, ^, symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.

Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term. For example, if you are searching for

jakarta apache

and you want the term "jakarta" to be more relevant boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term. You would type:

jakarta^4 apache

This will make documents with the term jakarta appear more relevant. You can also boost Phrase Terms as in the example:

"jakarta apache"^4 "Apache Lucene"

By default, the boost factor is 1. Although the boost factor must be positive, it can be less than 1 (e.g. 0.2)

Boolean operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined through logic operators. KnowledgeDex Searching supports AND, +, OR, NOT and - as Boolean operators (Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS).


The OR operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the OR operator is used. The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exist in a document. This is equivalent to a union using sets. The symbol || can be used in place of the word OR.

To search for documents that contain either "jakarta apache" or just "jakarta" use the query:

"jakarta apache" jakarta


"jakarta apache" OR jakarta


The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. This is equivalent to an intersection using sets. The symbol && can be used in place of the word AND.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" and "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" AND "Apache Lucene"


The + or required operator requires that the term after the + symbol exist somewhere in a the field of a single document.

To search for documents that must contain "jakarta" and may contain "lucene" use the query:

+jakarta apache


The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. This is equivalent to a difference using sets. The symbol ! can be used in place of the word NOT.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" but not "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" NOT "Apache Lucene"

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT "jakarta apache"


The - or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the - symbol.

To search for documents that contain "jakarta apache" but not "Apache Lucene" use the query:

"jakarta apache" -"Apache Lucene"


KnowledgeDex Searching supports using parentheses to group clauses to form sub queries. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

To search for either "jakarta" or "apache" and "website" use the query:

(jakarta OR apache) AND website

This eliminates any confusion and makes sure you that website must exist and either term jakarta or apache may exist.

Escaping Special Characters

KnowledgeDex Searching supports escaping special characters that are part of the query syntax. The current list special characters are:

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \

To escape these character use the \ before the character. For example to search for (1+1):2 use the query:


Glossary/KnowledgeDex (last edited 2015-03-06 18:11:26 by localhost)