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Fusion 5.12
    Fusion 5.12

    Indexing Signals

    Signals are indexed just like other data, but instead of using a connector, you use the Signals API.

    Signals data flow

    This diagram shows the flow of signals data from the search app through Fusion. The numbered steps are explained below.

    Signals data flow

    1. The search app sends a query to a Fusion query pipeline.

      The query request should include a user ID and session query parameter to identify the user.

    2. Optionally, the Fusion query pipeline queries the COLLECTION_NAME_signals_aggr collection to get boosts for the main query based on aggregated click data.

    3. The search app also sends a request signal to the Fusion /signals endpoint.

      The primary intent of a request signal is to capture the raw user query and contextual information about the user’s current activity in the app, such as the user agent and the page where they generated the query. The request signal does not contain any information about the results sent to Solr; it is created before a query is processed.

    4. Once Solr returns the response to Fusion, the SearchLogger component indexes the complete request/response data into the COLLECTION_NAME_signals collection as a response signal using the _signals_ingest pipeline. Therefore, the response signal captures all results from Fusion as it related to the original query.

      This is a departure from pre-4.0 versions of Fusion where query impressions were logged in a separate COLLECTION_NAME_logs collection. Query activity is no longer indexed into the _logs collection. All response signals use the fusion_query_id (see below) as the unique document ID in Solr.
    5. When the user clicks a link in the search results, the search app sends a click event to the Fusion signals endpoint (which invokes the _signals_ingest pipeline behind the scenes).

      The click signal must include a field named fusion_query_id in the params object of the raw click signal. The fusion_query_id field is returned in the query response (from step 1) in a response header named x-fusion-query-id. This allows Fusion to associate a click signal with the response signal generated in step 4. The fusion_query_id is also used by Fusion to associate click signals with experiments. For experiments to work, each click signal must contain the corresponding fusion_query_id that produced the document/item that was clicked.

    6. The _signals_ingest pipeline enriches signals before indexing into the COLLECTION_NAME_signals collection.

      This enrichment includes field mapping, geolocation resolution, and updating the has_clicks flag to "true" on request signals when the first click signal is encountered for a given request using the Update Related Document index stage.

    7. Fusion queries the COLLECTION_NAME_signals collection through a Fusion query pipeline to generate query analytics reports from raw signals.

    8. Behind the scenes, the SQL aggregation framework aggregates click signals to compute a weight for each query + doc_id + filters group.

      The resulting metrics are saved to the COLLECTION_NAME_signals_aggr collection to generate boosts on queries to the main collection (step 2 above).

    9. Recommendations also use aggregated documents in the COLLECTION_NAME_signals_aggr collection to build a collaborative filtering-based recommender model.

    Default index pipeline for signals

    When indexing signals of any type for any Fusion app, Fusion always uses a default index pipeline named _signals_ingest unless you explicitly specify a different index pipeline.

    Because this pipeline is not associated with any Fusion app, it does not automatically appear in the list of index pipelines. You can find it in the Object Explorer by clicking the In No Apps filter.

    Default stages

    The _signals_ingest index pipeline has several stages:

    1. Format Signals stage

    2. Field Mapping stage

    3. GeoIP Lookup stage

    4. Solr Indexer stage

    5. Update has_clicks flag stage

      The Update has_clicks flag stage is an instance of the Update Related Document stage that updates the has_clicks flag to "true" on an existing request signal after the first click signal is processed for the request.

    The Update has_clicks flag stage works as follows:

    Update Related Documents stage configuration

    1. When a click signal is encountered (type==click)

    2. Look at the incoming click signal for a field named request_id_s, which gets set by the Format Signals stage using a distributed cache of recently processed request signals.

      If the request_id_s field is set, then send a real-time GET query to Solr to find a request signal with ID equal to the value of the request_id_s field on the click signal. To avoid re-updating request signals, the RTG query also filters on has_clicks==false, which avoids duplicate atomic updates on the same document in Solr. Real-time GET is used to avoid timing issues between a request signal being sent to Solr and when it gets committed. This prevents missing updates when clicks occur soon after the initial request signal is sent by the search app.

    3. If the click signal does not have the request_id_s field set, then do a normal Solr lookup for the request signal using: +query_id:"${query_id}" +type:request +has_clicks:false. A click signal may not have a request_id_s if there is a cache miss in the distributed cache used by the Format Signals stage.

    4. If the stage performs a normal query, there may be multiple request signals that have the same query_id. This is because the query_id is based on session + query + filter, so if a user sends the same query + filter during the same session, there will be multiple request signals with the same query_id value. Thus, the stage sorts to get the latest request signal to update.

    5. If a related document is found (in this case a request signal), then the stage updates the has_clicks field to true and performs an atomic update in Solr.

    This stage performs its work in a background thread, so it does not impact the indexing performance of the click signal.