Searching for Approximations

In any search environment there is always a fine line between relevance and irrelevance. Any configuration aims to allow just enough abstraction to find what one is looking for, but not so much that unwanted hits become distracting. Speed is also an important consideration; one does not want to look for so many possibilities that the search is overly burdened and therefore too slow in response time.

If a spelling checker were run into every Metamorph search, not only would the general search time be greatly impeded, but a lot of what can be referred to as "noise" would deflect the accuracy, or relevancy of the search results. The aim of Metamorph is to allow maximum user control and direction of the search. Since there is no requirement to conform to any spelling standard, Metamorph is able to accept completely unknown words and process them accordingly: this includes slang, acronyms, code, or technical nomenclature. Even so, this does not deal with the issue of misspellings or typos.

Metamorph thoroughly handles this problem through the use of XPM, Metamorph's ApproXimate Pattern Matcher. The intent behind XPM is that you haven't found what you believe you should have found, and are therefore willing to accept patterns which deviate from your entered pattern by a specified percentage. The percentage entered on the query line is the percentage of proximity to the entered pattern (rather than the percent of deviation).


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