Faceted navigation

Faceted navigation can be used to filter or refine a set of search results, allowing users to quickly drill down on items or sub-sections of interest within a search that may contain hundreds of thousands of results.

Faceted navigation is designed to help users refine their search by providing a set of filters that are applicable to the set of search results returned by the search query.

Facets contain categories and the default display shows a count of matching results for each category. Categories without any matching results are hidden, preventing users from running a search that returns no results.

Facets and category values

A facet represents a way in which your documents can be categorised (e.g. job, location or author).

Category values are the individual values that can be filtered on.

The Author is the facet while Ada, Alan and Bob are the category values that the user might select to restrict the documents to.

Facet types

Funnelback supports five types of facets. Each type allows a user to filter the result set.

The types differ by providing choice in how the filtering is applied — allowing filtering on single or multiple categories and providing options on how the filters are combined and how they apply to the result set.

  • Filter on a single category

    Allows a user to filter the result set using a single category value chosen from the facet. Upon selection the facet displays only the selected category value.

  • Filter on a single category, with drill down

    This is sometimes referred to as a hierarchical facet.

    Allows a user to filter the result set using a single category value chosen from the facet. After the filter is applied sub-categories may be displayed for the facet.

  • Filter on multiple categories

    This is sometimes referred to a multi-select or checkbox faceting.

    Allows a user to filter the result set using multiple categories from the same facet. The categories can be combined using either AND or OR logic.

  • Toggle between categories

    Sometimes also referred to as a radio facet.

    Allows a user to filter the result set on a single category. The set of categories remain present after the filter is applied allowing a user to toggle through the different category values.

  • Toggle between tabs

    This is a special type of facet that is presented as a series of tabs. It is designed to allow a search to be separated into a series of tabs, with other facets then being used to further filter the result set. Because of this the tab facet isn’t treated the same way as other facets, and the selected tab does not appear within the list of selected facets.

  • Custom

    The custom facet type allows the creation of a facet with a custom combination of configuration options and category sources.

Facet categories

Configuring faceted navigation

The search dashboard is used to define the set of facets that are available for a frontend service.

Displaying faceted navigation

The display of faceted navigation is normally handled by code within the Freemarker template that iterates over the faceted navigation. Faceted navigation is also (as of v15.12) represented in the data model and can be easily accessed for search deployments that integrate with Funnelback’s JSON or XML endpoints.

Faceted navigation configuration API

Faceted navigation configuration can be edited using via the Funnelback admin API.

To see and interact with the available API calls access the to view API UI option from the system menu within the search dashboard.

The individual API calls are documented in the faceted-navigation section.