I do most of these same things and made these relevant design decisions:

1.  Use a combination of query expansion to search across multiple
fields and field concatenation to create document fields that combine
separate object fields.  I use multiple fields only when it is important
to weight them differently.  E.g., in my case the separate fields are
combined into just title and body document fields for general term
searching.  I expand queries (with my own expander after parsing) by
rewriting queries against the "default" field into an OR across title
and body with title boosted higher than body.
2.  One problem with the above concerns scoring (and this is also one of
the reasons to use concatenation rather than query expansion as much as
possible).  Lucene's BooleanQuery use sum-based scoring for OR's that is
further factored with the coord() adjustment (settable in the
Similarity).  This causes OR's to behave very poorly for the
field-expansion case.  E.g., if the query is foo bar, and  you expand
each term into title and body in the simplest way to produce title:foo^4
body:foo title:bar^4 body:bar, then a document with foo in title and bar
in body will get the same score as one with foo in title and foo in
body, clearly not desired.  There are at least 3 different solutions to
this problem discussed on this list.  I wrote my own MaxDisjunctionQuery
just to handle this case:  it uses max instead of sum for this kind of
OR query, and it does not use coord() (so use MaxDisjunctionQuery for
the OR's of the same term or other query across multiple fields, and
regular BooleanQuery to OR together the different terms or other
queries).  Paul Elschot wrote a more general DisjunctionQuery that can
be configured to do the same thing.  Doug Cutting came up with a
solution that does not require a new Query class; his solution expands
the query in a certain way and specializes certain existing methods.
You should be able to find these solutions by searching the archive
(e.g., search for MaxDisjunctionQuery and DisjunctionQuery and read the
threads).  Code is posted in one way or other.
3.  RangeQuery's are the way to do your date ranges, or any other
ranges.  The encodings need to be lexicographic, not integer.  E.g., 10
precedes 2, so pad with leading 0's (02 precedes 10).  If you need
negatives or floats, you need additional considerations to ensure
consistency with lexicographic order (invert the order of negatives and
use a sign representation such that the positive sign indicator follows
the negative sign indicator; floats require nothing special so long as
the integer portion is fixed length).  Dates encode naturally.  I add
additional fields like those used to search Ranges onto the Lucene
documents in addition to title and body.  There are numerous messages on
the list that discuss details of this, and there is a link to the web
site that goes through a complete example, including showing how to
specialize the query parser if you want users entering RangeQuery's in
Lucene syntax (either way you have to lexicographically encode both
queries and the document fields you index).

If you have more specific questions or cannot find the references,
please just ask.

Good luck,


  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: Venkatraju [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
  > Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 9:51 AM
  > To: lucene-user
  > Subject: Lucene - index fields design question
  > Hi,
  > I am a new user of Lucene. so please point me to
  > documentation/archives if these issues have been covered before.
  > I plan to use Lucene in a application with the following (fairly
  > standard) requirements:
  > - Index documents that contain a title, author, date and content
  > - It is fairly common to search for some text across all the fields
  > - Matches in the title field should be given more weightage over
  > matches in the content field
  > - Provide an option to restrict search to documents within a date
  > Give these requirements, what is a good index design with search
  > in mind?
  > Documents will have fields "title", "author", "date" and "content".
  > Should I make title and author part of the "content" as well so that
  > "search across all fields" will just become a search in "content"
  > field? If so, how do I give more weightage to matches in "title"
  > field?
  > The other option would be to expand a simple query to include
  > across all fields.
  > Ex.: Expand "abcd" to "title:abcd^4 OR content:abcd". Also, should
  > boost for title field be applied in the query or is it better to
  > provide a boost to the title field during indexing (is that
  > Which of these options will work and be more effecient?
  > For date range limited search, can field values be integers? If not,
  > encoding the date as "YYYYMMDDHHMM" and then use a filter or a
  > RangeQuery - is that the way to do this?
  > Thanks,
  > Venkat
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