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Improving synonyms and overall search experience

Is your Search & Navigation (Find) implementation affected by the limitations of the current synonym functionality and/or would you like to improve upon the overall search experience? 

Check out https://github.com/episerver/EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox
Setup and configuration is simple. Install NuGet Package and then there are a couple of lines of code to get it working.

What you get

  • An improved synonym implementation (No more issues with synonyms in conjuction with .WithAndAsDefaultOperator)
  • An overall relevance improvement by utilising MatchPhrase, MatchPhrasePrefix and MatchPrefix
  • Support for MinimumShouldMatch which improves search experience further
  • FuzzyMatch and WildcardMatch improving searches with typos and partial words

All can be used together or independently and depends on the .For() call for the original query

Full details available in README 
https://github.com/episerver/EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox/blob/master/README.md

Feedback and input are welcome and don't hesitate to contribute if you'd like.

Please note that this project is not officially supported by Episerver just like most EPiServer.Labs projects.
Should be considered stable and is currently used in production environments.

UPDATE 2021-01-09
New version 1.1.1.
Bugfix for bidrectional multi term synonyms
Boost adjustment for PrefixQueries

UPDATE 2020-10-14
New version 1.1.0.
Further improvements to relevance with the addition of .UsingRelevanceImprove()
which combines the powers of Elastic Search's MatchPhrase, MatchPhrasePrefix and MatchPrefix.

UPDATE 2020-09-08
Bugfixes and improvements and new version 1.0.9.

UPDATE 2020-09-03
Project renamed to Find Toolbox @ https://github.com/episerver/EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox
Now with new features to improve search relevance and overall search experience even further. 




Jun 24, 2020

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 6/25/2020 8:41:58 AM)

Can this be made available at https://nuget.episerver.com/ ?

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 6/25/2020 8:52:05 AM)

I have tried (both including the source code, and installing the nuget package), but are experiencing a problem.

My code:

SearchClient.Instance.UnifiedSearch(language).For(model.Query).UsingSynonymsImproved();

Build error:
Error CS1061 'IQueriedSearch<ISearchContent, QueryStringQuery>' does not contain a definition for 'UsingSynonymsImproved' and no extension method 'UsingSynonymsImproved' accepting a first argument of type 'IQueriedSearch<ISearchContent, QueryStringQuery>' could be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)

I have both the reference and the using directive.

dada
( By dada, 6/25/2020 11:27:50 AM)

Hi Tomas,

Please make sure you have. 

using EPiServer.Find.Cms;

If I don't have it I get the same error message. I have updated the README to reflect this.

dada
( By dada, 6/25/2020 1:11:45 PM)

Tomas, I will discuss with dev team if we can make it available from nuget.episerver.com after the summer.

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 6/26/2020 9:50:08 AM)

The problem was not the using-statement, but the lack of suppoert for .NET 4.6.1.

Thanks for fixing  it so quick! Excellent work!

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 6/26/2020 9:50:25 AM)

The problem was not the using-statement, but the lack of support for .NET 4.6.1.

Thanks for fixing  it so quick! Excellent work!

Michael Clausing
( By Michael Clausing, 6/26/2020 6:22:56 PM)

This looks very similar to what we talked about doing for a client. Thanks!

Mari Jørgensen
( By Mari Jørgensen, 7/6/2020 5:15:11 PM)

@dada This should work for filtered search as well?

I have code similar to this (simplified a bit):

SearchClient.Instance.Search<EntryContentBase>(Language.Norwegian)
.For(searchQuery)
.InField(x)
.InField(y)
.InField(z)
.MinimumShouldMatch("2<60%")
.UsingSynonymsImproved()
.ApplyBestBets()

I cannot get any results for multi words synonyms.

dada
( By dada, 7/8/2020 8:02:23 PM)

@Mari if you could share index details and JSON for that search I will look into it. Send it directly to my email daniel.dahlin@episerver.con

Mari Jørgensen
( By Mari Jørgensen, 8/5/2020 8:18:20 AM)

@dada: Back from vaction. Email is coming in next couple of minutes.

Eric Petersson
( By Eric Petersson, 8/6/2020 7:33:08 AM)

I have the same issues when trying to get hits on bidirectional synonyms via the UsingImprovedSynonyms()

dada
( By dada, 8/6/2020 10:14:38 AM)

Hi @Mari @Eric

By the looks of JSON for search shared by Mari it looks like the match is never made which likely because the local synonym list is cached and which lacks the additional synonym. Also empty lists are cached to avoid spamming the service with requests.

Testing multi term synonyms and bidirectional synonyms works locally.

By default the list is cached for an hour. When testing you could set it to something lower like .UsingImprovedSynonyms(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10))

Mari Jørgensen
( By Mari Jørgensen, 8/6/2020 11:26:09 AM)

I can confirm that caching is the issue! Went back to the branch and tested once more, and now it works! Thanks, Daniel!

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/9/2020 9:29:56 AM)

Hi,

I cant install EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox from the nuget package, how to find it ?

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 11/9/2020 9:32:11 AM)

@Suha: you could download the .nupkg file from the GitHub repo.

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/9/2020 9:36:29 AM)

Thank you Tomas, which one of them ?

dada
( By dada, 11/9/2020 9:41:13 AM)

Hi @Suha: 1.1.0 is the latest. I would suggest you go with this one because of the improvements it comes with.

Tomas Hensrud Gulla
( By Tomas Hensrud Gulla, 11/9/2020 9:41:13 AM)

The newest one, I guess: EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox.1.1.0.nupkg

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/9/2020 9:48:13 AM)

I will go with the newest one.
Thank you @dada and @Tomas

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/10/2020 9:07:56 AM)

I imported the source code and installed the nuget package and I got the following error ?

QueriedSearch<ISearchContent, QueryStringQuery>' does not contain a definition for 'UsingSynonymsImproved'

dada
( By dada, 11/10/2020 9:12:48 AM)

Hi @Suha

You should only need the nuget package. Please share the full code using UsingSynonymsImproved(). What version of .NET is your solution compiled for?

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/10/2020 2:58:22 PM)

Hi @dada

It targets .NET Framwork 4.7.2

Here how the code looks like:

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/10/2020 3:04:10 PM)

Hi again,

I added EPiServer.Labs.Find.Toolbox.1.1.0.nupkg directly to my project under the root. 

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/10/2020 3:18:31 PM)

This is what I get back after trying to install it from nuget package.

dada
( By dada, 11/10/2020 3:56:10 PM)

Hi @Suha

It looks like the package is not installed. 

http://packagesource is not a likely valid source, right?

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/11/2020 8:16:25 AM)

Hi @dada

Thats right, was wrong path, thanks!

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/11/2020 10:39:20 AM)

I have the following code and I cannot get any results for multi words synonyms, I am missing something maybe?

dada
( By dada, 11/11/2020 10:41:57 AM)

Hi @Suha

Set the cache duration to something really low when testing. Default is 3 hours.

 .UsingSynonymsImproved([cacheDuration]) 

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/11/2020 12:24:57 PM)

Hi @dada

Works nice! 

dada
( By dada, 11/11/2020 12:25:28 PM)

@Suha Glad to hear!

Suha Alshami
( By Suha Alshami, 11/18/2020 10:29:44 AM)

How doese synoyms works when the fras and synoyms is in the searchlist or must the fras be something which doesnt give a search results ? 

dada
( By dada, 11/19/2020 4:40:16 PM)

Hi @Suha

Phrase could be something that exist in the index but it doesn't have to.

If it exists in the index you will as expected get hits on both the phrase and the synonym that the phrase matches. 

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