XPM Rules of Syntax

  • The syntax for XPM is to enter a percent sign (%) followed by a two digit number from 01 to 99 representing percentage of proximity, followed by the pattern you wish, as: %72Raygun, to find "Reagan" . If no numbers are listed after the percent sign, the default of 80% will be used; as, %lithwania, looks for an 80% match and will find "Lithuania".

  • XPM is not a stand-alone tool; it can only be used from within a Metamorph query. It can be used in intersection with other designated words, expressions, or XPM patterns.

  • You can designate a logic operator in front of an XPM pattern `+' or `-'; do not leave a space between the operator and the percent sign; as: +%72Raygun. It does not need to be put in quotes.

  • XPM is case insensitive just as are other Metamorph special searches.

  • There is no way to search for an approximated REX expression; either REX or XPM will be called by Metamorph. Use XPM in front of words or otherwise fixed length patterns not inclusive of REX syntax.

Let us say you are looking for something that happened in Reykjavik last week, and you are almost certain it is in your file somewhere. There is such a reference in the demo news file which is shipped with the program, so you can try this. Perhaps you specified on the query line "event Rakechavick" but got no hit, as you were not spelling the name correctly. You can enter the same search, but call up XPM for the word you don't know how to spell. For example:

     event %64Rakechavick

This query will look for an intersection of the word "event" (plus all its equivalences) and a 64% approximation to the entered pattern "Rakechavick". This will in fact successfully locate a hit which discusses "events" which occurred at "Reykjavik".

When looking for this sort of thing, you can keep lowering the specified percentage until you find what you want. You'll notice that the lower the specified proximity, the more "noise" you allow; meaning that in this case you will allow many patterns in addition to "Reykjavik", as you are telling the program to look for anything at all which approximates 64% of the entered pattern.

Such a facility has many applications. Probably the most common use for XPM is when looking for proper nouns that have either unknown or multiple spellings. "Qadhafi" is an example of a name which is in the news often, and has several different completely accepted spellings. Someone for whom English is a second language can much more successfully search for things he cannot spell by calling up XPM when necessary with the percent (%) sign. And in instances where there are file imperfections such as human typos or OCR scanning oddities, XPM will call up the full range of possibilities, which can be very useful in catch-all batchmode searching, or otherwise.


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