IBM Watson™ Discovery Service Ideas

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Ability to disable or customize stemming

Watson Discovery uses stemming to identify valid matches. Based on our experience it appears that stemming is applied in both Natural Language Queries and also Discovery Language Queries. It seems to also enforced in phrase searching. This is useful sometimes but there are other cases where this approach makes it very difficult to find relevant matches. For example, in one of our collections we have several documents with the term "DCS" and several with the term "DC". These are not related terms and there is no reason for our users to get both in a single query. However, if you search for either DCS or DC, you will get both and there is no way to filter our the undesired matches because they seem to be interpreted by WDS as the exact same term.

We think WDS should not enforce stemming when using phrase searching, as this type of search is primarily used to specify exact matches such as titles or excerpts of a document. Alternatively, we would like to have some control over when stemming should be applied or what words or terms should not be stemmed.

  • Eduardo Kaufmann-Malaga
  • Jun 26 2019
  • Future Consideration
Why is it useful?
Who would benefit from this IDEA? "As a customer I would like to be able to do searches that only retrieve exact matches
How should it work?
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  • Guest commented
    27 Jun 16:36

    Do NOT solve this with words or terms that should not be stemmed. Using quotes (phrase searching" should be able to stop stemming on any word you choose. This is standard practice and anything else would likely lead to unexpected results in the future. Keep in mind that counter-intuitive search engine results can quickly make IBM support look "stupid" because, say, we don't even know about our own documentation.