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The Search Appliance has a vocabulary of over 250,000 word and phrase associations. Each entry is generally classifiable by either its meaning or part of speech. 

Synonyms may be included for individual terms within your query by preceding them with a ~ (tilde) character. 

Search uses set logic for text queries. Set logic is easier to use and provides more abilities than boolean. The examples below make reference to single keywords, but keep in mind that each keyword can represent an entire list of things or any of the special pattern matchers.

Sets (or lists) of things are specified by placing the elements within parenthesis, separated by commas. Example: (bob,joe,sam,sue) . In the examples below, you could replace any of the keywords with a list like this.

The default behavior of the search is to locate an intersection (or 'AND') of every element within a query. This means that the query: "microsoft bob interface" is the equivalent to the boolean query: "microsoft AND bob AND interface" .

- (without)
The - (minus) is the most commonly used logic symbol. It means the results must exclude references to that item.
+ (mandatory)
The + (plus) symbol in front of a search item means that the results must include that item. This is generally used in conjunction with the permutation operation.
@N (permute)
The @ followed by a number indicates how many intersections to locate of the terms in your query. This may be confusing at first, but it is very powerful.

The wild-card character * (asterisk) may be used to match just the prefix of a word or to ignore the middle of something. 

To locate a number of adjacent words in a specific order, surround them with " (double quotation) characters. Putting a - (hyphen) between words will also force order and one word proximity.

The plus(+) and minus(-) operators must be attached to the term to which they apply. There must be a space between the operator and any preceding term.  

Correct Incorrect
bob +sam -joe bob + sam - joe


Search Logic Examples 

Query Finds
bob sam joe Bob with Sam and Joe
bob sam -joe Bob with Sam without Joe
bob sam joe @1 Bob with Sam, or Bob with Joe, or Joe with Sam
A B C D @1 AB or AC or AD or BC or BD or CD
+A B C D @1 ABC or ABD or ACD
A B C -D @1 ( AB or AC or BC ) without D

The Word forms options give you control over how many variations of your query terms will be sought in your search.Exact match: Only exact matches will be allowed. (the default) Plurals & possessives: Plural and possessive forms will be found. (s, es, 's) Any word forms: As many word forms as can be derived will be located. Custom: Uses the Custom Suffix List, Custom Suffix Default Removal, and Custom Suffix Min Length settings to create your own custom behavior.

Word Form Examples

Word president
EXACT president
PLURAL (above) + presidents president's
ANY (above) + presidential presidency preside presides presiding presided
Word tight
EXACT tight
PLURAL (above) + tights
ANY (above) + tightly tightening tightened tighter tightest
Word program
EXACT program
PLURAL (above) + programs program's
ANY (above) + programming programmatic programmed programmer programmable

We call this morpheme processing, and it is generally smarter than a traditional "stemming" algorithm. It doesn't just rip the end off a word, it actually checks to see if it could be a valid form of the search term.

Notes: Thesaurus terms are also treated in the same manner. Words smaller than 4-5 characters will not be morpheme processed.

The Search Appliance's search can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. Usually you will just need to enter a few words that best describe that which you are trying to locate. To perform more complicated searches you might use any combination of logic operators, special pattern matchers, concept expansion, or proximity operations.

To locate words, just type them in as you would in a word processor. Letter cases will be ignored.

The wild-card character * (asterisk) may be used to match just the prefix of a word or to ignore the middle of something.

To locate a number of adjacent words in a specific order, surround them with " (double quotation) characters. Putting a - (hyphen) between words will also force order and one word proximity.

Query Examples

Query Locates
john john, John
"john public" John Public
web-browser Web browser, web-browser
John*Public John Q. Public, John Public
456*a*def 1-456-789-ABCDEF
activate activate, activation, activated, ... *

Using the Special Pattern Matchers

These pattern matchers are used to locate hard-to-find items within text:

If improperly used these pattern matchers can slow queries. Therefore they require other keyword(s) in the query and are disabled entirely under Page proximity. For more details see the Vortex manual on Query Protection (http://docs.thunderstone.com/site/vortexman/link_qprot.html).

Pattern Matcher Examples

Query Matcher Finds
ronald %regan Approx Ronald Raygun, Ronald Re-an, Ronald 8eagan
%75MYPARTNO9045d/6a Approx Anything within 75% of looking like MYPARTNO9045d/6a
/19[789][0-9] RegEXpr 1970-1999
/[1-9]{3}\-=[0-9]{4 RegEXpr Phone numbers: 555-1212, 820-2200
#87 Numeric four score and seven, 87
#>0<1 Numeric Fractions like 9/16, 55%, 0.123, 15 nanoseconds

The Numeric Pattern Matcher

This feature allows you to find quantities in textual information in any way they may be represented.

To invoke a numeric value search within a query you precede the value with a '#' (pound / hash character).

To Find Syntax Example Match
any value ## a few dozen
equal to #5000 five thousand
greater than #>5000 2.2 million
less than #<5000 1,000.00
greater than or equal #>=5000 5,000.01
less than or equal #<=5000 four thousand nine hundred and 59/100
between #<5000<6000 5.5 kilotons

Do not put spaces anywhere in the quantity expression unless you surround it with double quotes

Pattern Matcher Examples

Expression WillFind
#>0#<1 15 percent, 500 milligrams, 0.25, 15 sixteenths, 5/32
#666 six hundred three score and six
#>million 1.6 billion dollars
#1e6#<1e12 five gigabytes, 5,000,000,000, 2.2 million

Notes: The expression "greater than 0, less than one" above is really good for finding statistical information in the text. For example if you enter the query: "votes #0<1", the program will find "One third of the voters cast their ballots for Clinton" .

Mastering the usage of proximity gives the ability to locate results with greater precision. The Search Appliance input form gives you several options to control the search proximity: 


All query terms must occur on the same line 


Query items should all reside within the same sentence


Within the same paragraph or text block 


All items must occur within same HTML document (the default) 

A bar-graph display will be shown any time a ranking search was performed (e.g. all searches except Show Parents).