Faceted Search

At facetedsearch.app, our mission is to provide a comprehensive resource for faceted search. We believe that search should be more than just a simple keyword query, and that by enriching search with taxonomies, ontologies, and categorical or hierarchical information, we can help users find the information they need more quickly and easily. Our goal is to educate and inform users about the benefits of faceted search, and to provide tools and resources to help them implement it effectively. Whether you are a developer, a researcher, or just someone who wants to improve their search experience, we are here to help.

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Faceted search is a powerful tool that allows users to quickly and easily find the information they need. It is a search method that uses a combination of filters and categories to narrow down search results. Faceted search is often used in e-commerce websites, libraries, and other large databases. This cheatsheet will cover everything you need to know to get started with faceted search, including the concepts, topics, and categories related to faceted search.


  1. Facets: Facets are the categories or filters that are used to narrow down search results. They can be based on any attribute of the data, such as price, color, size, or category.

  2. Taxonomies: Taxonomies are hierarchical structures that organize data into categories. They are often used in faceted search to provide a structured way to navigate through the data.

  3. Ontologies: Ontologies are similar to taxonomies, but they also include relationships between the categories. They are often used in faceted search to provide a more sophisticated way to navigate through the data.

  4. Search engine: A search engine is the software that performs the search and retrieves the results. It can be a standalone application or integrated into a website or database.

  5. Query: A query is the search term or terms that are entered into the search engine. It can be a single word or a complex phrase.

  6. Results: Results are the data that are returned by the search engine. They can be displayed in a variety of formats, such as a list, grid, or map.


  1. User interface: The user interface is the part of the website or application that the user interacts with. It should be designed to be intuitive and easy to use, with clear labels and instructions.

  2. Data modeling: Data modeling is the process of designing the structure of the data. It should be designed to be flexible and scalable, with the ability to add new facets and categories as needed.

  3. Performance: Performance is a critical factor in faceted search. The search engine should be optimized to provide fast and accurate results, even with large datasets.

  4. Relevance ranking: Relevance ranking is the process of ordering the search results based on their relevance to the query. It should be designed to provide the most relevant results at the top of the list.

  5. Analytics: Analytics are important for understanding how users are interacting with the search engine. It can provide insights into user behavior, popular search terms, and areas for improvement.


  1. Facet types: Facet types include range, checkbox, dropdown, and hierarchical. Range facets allow users to select a range of values, such as price or date. Checkbox facets allow users to select multiple options, such as color or size. Dropdown facets allow users to select a single option from a list, such as brand or category. Hierarchical facets allow users to navigate through a hierarchy of categories, such as product type or location.

  2. Taxonomy types: Taxonomy types include flat, hierarchical, and faceted. Flat taxonomies are simple lists of categories. Hierarchical taxonomies are organized into a tree-like structure, with parent and child categories. Faceted taxonomies are organized into multiple dimensions, with each facet representing a different attribute of the data.

  3. Search engine types: Search engine types include open source, commercial, and cloud-based. Open source search engines are free and open to the public. Commercial search engines are proprietary and require a license. Cloud-based search engines are hosted in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.

  4. Query types: Query types include keyword, Boolean, and natural language. Keyword queries are simple search terms, such as "red shoes". Boolean queries use logical operators, such as "AND" and "OR", to combine search terms. Natural language queries use natural language, such as "find me a red pair of shoes in size 8".

  5. Result types: Result types include list, grid, and map. List results display the search results in a vertical list. Grid results display the search results in a grid or table format. Map results display the search results on a map, with pins or markers indicating the location of each result.


Faceted search is a powerful tool that can help users quickly and easily find the information they need. It is a complex topic that involves many different concepts, topics, and categories. This cheatsheet provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to get started with faceted search. Whether you are designing a new search engine or improving an existing one, this cheatsheet will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed.

Common Terms, Definitions and Jargon

1. Faceted Search: A search technique that allows users to filter and refine search results based on multiple attributes or facets.
2. Taxonomy: A hierarchical classification system used to organize and categorize information.
3. Ontology: A formal representation of knowledge that defines the concepts and relationships within a domain.
4. Attribute: A characteristic or property of an object or entity that can be used to filter search results.
5. Facet: A specific value or range of values for an attribute that can be used to filter search results.
6. Category: A grouping of related items or concepts that can be used to organize and filter search results.
7. Hierarchical Information: Information that is organized in a hierarchical structure, such as a tree or network.
8. Filter: A tool that allows users to refine search results by selecting specific criteria or attributes.
9. Search Engine: A software program that searches a database or index for information based on user queries.
10. Query: A request for information or data from a database or search engine.
11. Result Set: The set of search results returned by a search engine or database.
12. Ranking: The order in which search results are displayed based on relevance or other criteria.
13. Relevance: The degree to which search results match the user's query or intent.
14. Boolean Operators: Logical operators used to combine search terms, such as AND, OR, and NOT.
15. Natural Language Processing: A branch of artificial intelligence that enables computers to understand and interpret human language.
16. Synonym: A word or phrase that has the same or similar meaning as another word or phrase.
17. Stemming: A technique used to reduce words to their root form, allowing for more comprehensive search results.
18. Stop Words: Common words that are excluded from search queries, such as "the," "and," and "of."
19. Wildcard: A symbol used to represent one or more characters in a search query, such as "*" or "?".
20. Phrase Search: A search technique that looks for exact matches of a specific phrase or sequence of words.

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