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Precision & Recall Tuning


  • Search Technologies provides precision / recall tuning for leading search engines, such as SharePoint & FAST, the Google search Appliance (GSA), Elasticsearch, and Solr Lucene.
  • A well-tuned search system drives productivity and other business goals and is important to user satisfaction.


  • Precision is an important measure of search effectiveness. It is the ability to filter out irrelevant hits and focus on potentially useful information.
  • Precision can be difficult to measure in absolute terms because people have subjective opinions of search results.
  • Our experience in search precision tuning comes from a broad range of search implementations covering more than 700 customer engagements.
  • Tuning precision starts with an assessment of the organization's content and search requirements.

Precision doesn't just happen. It should be a key element in the process of implementing a search solution. Poor precision damages the reputation of a search system and discourages its use. High precision generally impresses search users.


  • Recall measures how well a search finds every possible document that could be of interest to the searcher.
  • Depending on circumstances, many documents may be relevant to a query.
  • Recall is particularly important in applications where the user cannot afford to miss information (for example research, security or compliance applications).
  • Recall has less influence on user satisfaction than precision. Many searchers, especially on the Web, are satisfied by precise results, even where recall is low.

As the graph below shows, a balance needs to be found for precision and recall.


The right balance for precision and recall is application specific. Our experience and expertise can help you to find that balance for your search system.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help fine-tune your search engine.