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Spirent Knowledge Base: How does the search engine process searches?


These search rules pertain to any search performed on the Spirent Knowledge Base at the Customer Service Center.


When handling a search, the Spirent Knowledge Base follows certain steps to prioritize the answers and list the results. Most times, type in your search as you would on any search engine and it will provide you good results. We offer this detail here to help you further hone your queries and understand how the underlying search engine of the Spirent Knowledge Base works. In offering results, the matches and results are prioritized as follows:

  1. Exact matches on the whole query: anytime there is an exact match, the KB will offer those results first. This behavior is pretty much expected, but one important tip to pay attention to: although the KB is, for the most part, not case-sensitive, it will still use the case of the search to preferentially offer exact matches as well. As an example, what this means is if you search with the lower-case "icmp", it will offer all the KB articles that use "icmp" before offering results with "ICMP".
  2. Exact matches on words in the query: next, the KB starts to divide the query into its parts (assuming there is more than 1 word in the query). Protocols and Spirent products tend to be weighed more, and we use those terms preferentially to prioritize the results, deemphasizing the less important words like "how" or "the".
  3. Stem matches on words in the query: next, words that are not a perfect match start to be stemmed. What this means is that we start to look for different tenses and pluralizations of that word. For example, "test" would be stemmed to "tests", "testing" and "tested", but would not be stemmed to "tester", which has a different meaning.
  4. Synonyms of words in the query: the Spirent Knowledge Base uses synonyms to help offer matching results. What this means is that words with the same meaning are used to match to search results. Examples of synonyms for the word "test" include "assessment" and "analysis". Synonyms for "Spirent TestCenter" include "STC", "Spirent TestCentre" and "Spirent Test Center". Read more about synonyms on the Spirent Blog.
  5. Other words connected in the KB dictionary: There are weaker associations in the Knowledge Base dictionary as well. This means we can search using a particular term, and if it doesn't work, other related but not entirely identical terms will be searched as well. Example for "test" include the related terms "quality assurance" and "confirmation"-- they are not perfect matches, but still pertain to the same conceptual area.