Report:EAST/Search Syntax/Allowed Operators/Truncation or Wildcard Operators/Introduction
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Truncation operators are used as ‘wild cards’ that represent one or more characters in a term within a search query. EAST offers a fairly powerful set of truncation operators:
- $ - Can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a term and truncates anywhere from zero to unlimited characters. EAST can support simultaneous left and right truncation (also called SLART).
- $cycle returns results containing any of “bicycle”, “recycle”, “motorcycle”, etc.
- in$able returns results containing any of “indisputable”, “inseparable”, etc.
- kilo$ returns results containing any of “kilogram”, “kilometer”, “kilowatt”, etc.
- $n - Can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a term and truncates from zero to n characters where n is replaced with an integer.
- Example: build$2 returns results containing builder but not building
- ? - Can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a term and truncates exactly one character
- Example: adapt?r returns results containing any of “adapter, “adaptar”, or “adaptor”
- $? - Can be used to truncate one or more characters at the beginning, middle, or end of a term
- Example: col$?r returns results containing “colar”, “color”, “colour”, “collar”, ”colayer”, etc.
- ! - Can be placed at the end of a term to disable Plurals for that term, when Plurals is turned ON
- Example: With Plurals turned ON, a search for windows! would only return results containing “windows” and not “window”.
There is a 10,000 term truncation limit in EAST. This means that EAST will return a truncation overflow error after the 10,000th term is reached. For example, in a search using the unlimited truncation symbol $, a search for cat$ will abort the search at the 10,000th term "catalygt."
If truncation is used anywhere in a search, the ‘Plurals’ option will automatically be disabled for that search.
The ability to use left-hand truncation when constructing queries in EAST represents a significant advantage over many competing search systems. This feature is especially useful when performing chemical searches, which often contain complex prefixes and suffixes.