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All about the Search Engine Reverse-Index

The inverted index data structure (also referred as reverse-index) is a central component of a typical search engine indexing algorithm. A goal of a search engine implementation is to optimize the speed of the query: find the documents where word X occurs.

Index Design Factors

  • Merge factors, so multiple indexers can work asynchronously
  • Storage techniques, how to store the data (compressed)
  • Index size, how much storage is required
  • Lookup speed, how quickly a word can be found
  • Maintenance, how is the index maintained over time
  • Fault tolerance & reliable, dealing with issues and index corruption

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