Solr Result Grouping / Field Collapsing

Result Grouping, also called Field Collapsing, has been committed to Solr!
This functionality limits the number of documents for each “group”, usually defined by the unique values in a field (just like field faceting).

You can think of it like faceted search, except instead of just getting a count, you get the top documents for that constraint or category. There are tons of potential use cases:

  • For web search, only show 1 or 2 results for a given website by collapsing on a site field.
  • For email search, only show 1 or 2 results for a given email thread
  • For e-commerce, show the top 3 products for each store category (i.e. “electronics”, “housewares”)
  • Hiding duplicate documents at query time.

In addition to being able to group by the values of a field, you can also group by the values of a function query. Given that geo search works as a function query, this also opens up possibilities for showing top query matches within 1 mile, between 1 and 2 miles, etc.

Just like faceting, we’ll be adding new functionality and making continual improvements.
Result Grouping is documented on the Solr Wiki, and you will need a recent
nightly build of Solr 4.0-dev to try it out (just make sure it’s dated after this post).