Collapse and Expand Results

The Collapsing query parser and the Expand component combine to form an approach to grouping documents for field collapsing in search results.

The Collapsing query parser groups documents (collapsing the result set) according to your parameters, while the Expand component provides access to documents in the collapsed group for use in results display or other processing by a client application. Collapse & Expand can together do what the older Result Grouping (group=true) does for most use-cases but not all. Generally, you should prefer Collapse & Expand.

Important

In order to use these features with SolrCloud, the documents must be located on the same shard. To ensure document co-location, you can define the router.name parameter as compositeId when creating the collection. For more information on this option, see the section Document Routing.

Collapsing Query Parser

The CollapsingQParser is really a post filter that provides more performant field collapsing than Solr’s standard approach when the number of distinct groups in the result set is high. This parser collapses the result set to a single document per group before it forwards the result set to the rest of the search components. So all downstream components (faceting, highlighting, etc.) will work with the collapsed result set.

The CollapsingQParser accepts the following local parameters:

field

The field that is being collapsed on. The field must be a single valued String, Int or Float-type of field.

min or max

Selects the group head document for each group based on which document has the min or max value of the specified numeric field or function query.

At most only one of the min, max, or sort (see below) parameters may be specified.

If none are specified, the group head document of each group will be selected based on the highest scoring document in that group. The default is none.

sort

Selects the group head document for each group based on which document comes first according to the specified sort string.

At most only one of the min, max, (see above) or sort parameters may be specified.

If none are specified, the group head document of each group will be selected based on the highest scoring document in that group. The default is none.

nullPolicy

There are three available null policies:

  • ignore: removes documents with a null value in the collapse field. This is the default.

  • expand: treats each document with a null value in the collapse field as a separate group.

  • collapse: collapses all documents with a null value into a single group using either highest score, or minimum/maximum.

    The default is ignore.

hint

Currently there is only one hint available: top_fc, which stands for top level FieldCache.

The top_fc hint is only available when collapsing on String fields. top_fc usually provides the best query time speed but takes the longest to warm on startup or following a commit. top_fc will also result in having the collapsed field cached in memory twice if it’s used for faceting or sorting. For very high cardinality (high distinct count) fields, top_fc may not fare so well.

The default is none.

size

Sets the initial size of the collapse data structures when collapsing on a numeric field only.

The data structures used for collapsing grow dynamically when collapsing on numeric fields. Setting the size above the number of results expected in the result set will eliminate the resizing cost.

The default is 100,000.

Sample Usage Syntax

Collapse on group_field selecting the document in each group with the highest scoring document:

fq={!collapse field=group_field}

Collapse on group_field selecting the document in each group with the minimum value of numeric_field:

fq={!collapse field=group_field min=numeric_field}

Collapse on group_field selecting the document in each group with the maximum value of numeric_field:

fq={!collapse field=group_field max=numeric_field}

Collapse on group_field selecting the document in each group with the maximum value of a function. Note that the cscore() function can be used with the min/max options to use the score of the current document being collapsed.

fq={!collapse field=group_field max=sum(cscore(),numeric_field)}

Collapse on group_field with a null policy so that all docs that do not have a value in the group_field will be treated as a single group. For each group, the selected document will be based first on a numeric_field, but ties will be broken by score:

fq={!collapse field=group_field nullPolicy=collapse sort='numeric_field asc, score desc'}

Collapse on group_field with a hint to use the top level field cache:

fq={!collapse field=group_field hint=top_fc}

The CollapsingQParserPlugin fully supports the QueryElevationComponent.

Expand Component

The ExpandComponent can be used to expand the groups that were collapsed by the CollapsingQParserPlugin.

Example usage with the CollapsingQParserPlugin:

q=foo&fq={!collapse field=ISBN}

In the query above, the CollapsingQParserPlugin will collapse the search results on the ISBN field. The main search results will contain the highest ranking document from each book.

The ExpandComponent can now be used to expand the results so you can see the documents grouped by ISBN. For example:

q=foo&fq={!collapse field=ISBN}&expand=true

The “expand=true” parameter turns on the ExpandComponent. The ExpandComponent adds a new section to the search output labeled “expanded”.

Inside the expanded section there is a map with each group head pointing to the expanded documents that are within the group. As applications iterate the main collapsed result set, they can access the expanded map to retrieve the expanded groups.

The ExpandComponent has the following parameters:

expand.sort

Orders the documents within the expanded groups. The default is score desc.

expand.rows

The number of rows to display in each group. The default is 5 rows.

expand.q

Overrides the main query (q), determines which documents to include in the main group. The default is to use the main query.

expand.fq

Overrides main filter queries (fq), determines which documents to include in the main group. The default is to use the main filter queries.