Report:QPAT/Search Syntax/Allowed Operators/Boolean and Proximity Operators
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Boolean and Proximity Operators
The following table, taken from the QPAT user guide, summarizes the various allowed operators in QPAT:
|OR||retrieves records with at least one of the terms||sulfur or sulphur|
|AND||all of the terms||plutonium and isotope|
|NOT||the first term but NOT the second||suv not vesicle|
|F||terms in the same field||sodium f chlorine|
|P||terms in the same paragraph||sodium p chlorine|
|D||adjacent terms in any order||redundancy d check+|
|nD||adjacent terms in any order, separated by up to n words where n is 1 to 9||electric+ 2d conduct+ 2d adhesive|
|W||adjacent terms in specified order, also, this is the default processing for two terms without an operator||smart w card? smart card?|
|nW||adjacent terms in specified order, separated by up to n words, where n is 1 to 9||friction 1w pad?|
|S||terms in the same sentence (or in same subfield – see inventor name)||selfclean+ s toilet?|
|Parenthesis||parentheses (nesting) required when combining different operators||((wireless w application w protocol) or wap)
(hair 1d (dye or dyeing)) and oxidat+
Boolean operators are the basics for any search engine, and of course QPAT fulfills that requirement. The XOR Boolean operator, which returns only hits containing one term but NOT another, is omitted; this should not be seen as a disadvantage, because it has very limited use and will probably not be needed for most searches.
Proximity operators generally fall into two categories: those that rely on user-defined distance, and those that rely on natural language boundaries. Both are included in the QPAT cannon.
Adjacency operators based on a user-defined distance between words are allowed in QPAT, and fixing word order is an option; however, these operators only allow searches for terms that occur within 9 words of each other, which feels quite limited (for example, Delphion allows this operator to find words that occur within a distance of up to 1024 terms!).
Operators that rely on natural language boundaries search for words that occur within the same sentence or paragraph. QPAT includes these, and has also added the option of searching for terms that occur within the same field; since the full text records are split into segments like abstract, drawing descriptions, main claims etc., this operator is another way of ensuring that keyword hits will likely be found occurring in the same context within a reference. The enabling of this kind of proximity operator is a definite advantage for QPAT, as some comparable databases don’t offer these operators.