Understanding Search Tuning Results

Introduction

After starting a search quality tuning process, additional details on the results can be viewed within Funnelback's classic administration interface, and the tuned ranking parameters can be applied to the search system.

Tuning Search Quality

From Funnelback's administration home page, once a collection is selected, the 'Tune' tab allows access to the "View Tuning Results" page. This page displays the details of the most recent (or currently running) tuning process.

The information displayed includes

Success rate

The percentage of queries which return any correct URL in the top 20 results. The difference between the tuned settings and the collection as configured at the beginning of the tuning process in terms of success rate is displayed after tuning.

Search quality score

A rating of the search quality which takes into account how prominently the correct answers are displayed, and the difference between the tuned settings and the collection as configured at the beginning of the tuning process.

Query processor options

The best query processor options identified for the collection by the tuning process. An 'apply' button is included which allows these query process options to be applied immediately to the preview mode of the collection. Assuming the change is then verified as acceptable, it can be made public by publishing the padre_opts.cfg file from the "Browse Collection Configuration Files" page.

Queries performed

The total number of queries performed by the tuning process.Results of past tuning processes can also be viewed by selecting a time-stamp from the "Other tuning runs" menu at the bottom of the page.

Tuning Details

Additional details about the final results of the tuning process can be viewed by clicking the "details..." link. Please note that the information provided in the details section requires a deep understanding of search engine ranking to interpret.

Details available include a histogram of query scores (note that they are displayed between 0 and 1 rather than 0 and 100%), as well as details about each of the specified URLs (including the position the URL was found within the results). For each query, the "explain" link provides further explanation of the ranking of results for the query, and the "compare" link shows the tuned results alongside the original results for comparison. Each correct URL found within the search collection also has an 'A' link, which displays information about the anchor text information pointing to the URL (which is an important ranking factor for web collections).

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