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[bioontology-support] Search rank and mismatch search in REST service

Ray Fergerson ray.fergerson at
Fri May 24 18:19:08 PDT 2013

I'm looking for two features that would be really useful:

1. Search with mismatches. For example, if I search for "dictiostelium" 
instead of "Dictyostelium" - it would be nice if the search algorithm
could handle that type of mismatch.

RWF: We are shifting to the Lucene Solr package that can do this sort of
thing. This will be part of our upcoming "new backend" release. We will
look into it when we have the basic functionality up and going.

2. Search ranking. Trish Whetzel told me that the website search results
are ranked by page hits - a crude measure of popularity. It would be great
if you could access the same ranking data through the webservice when you
do a search. The particular problem I'm struggling with is to put
"Dictyostelium discoidum" on the top of my search results if I search for
"Dictyostelium". When doing this query on the bioportal website, indeed D.
discoidum is one of the top hits. However, when doing the query through
rest webservice, I get the results in seemingly random order.

RWF: We agree that it would be good if the REST service could optionally
return results base on ontology. Currently they are based on  Lucene's
notion of goodness, which is not very good for us at the moment. The
ranking system is currently in the UI but we will eventually move it to
the REST backend.

I've created tracker items for both of these requests so they don't get


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