Funnelback's contextual navigation engine provides users with a road-sign style navigation panel to rapidly discover all topics related to their search query. Good search engines are able to accurately rank search results based on how useful they are likely to be to the end-user. However, large search result lists often do not reveal the many sub-topics and themes present within the result list.
Contextual navigation brings to light these sub-topics by presenting them to users as suggestions for refining their query. This enables users of all levels to explore large volumes of content more efficiently and intuitively.
Editing contextual navigation settings
To edit contextual navigation settings:
- Select the collection you wish to modify in the "Manage Collection" section of the Administration home page
- In the "Customise" tab click on the "Design Results Page" link.
- You can then click on the "Contextual Navigation configuration page" link to go to its interface (shown below).
The contextual navigation web administration panel provides the following options:
Enable contextual navigation
This setting enables display of the contextual navigation output for the selected collection. Note that contextual navigation will not appear on the search results page without a valid form template.
Categorise clusters into topics and types
This setting adds another dimension to the clusters by attempting to determine whether each cluster is a type of ‘x’ or a topic relating to ‘x’, where ‘x’ is the query. The categorisation algorithm is not always accurate, but in most cases provides a helpful grouping of the clusters. If set to false, types and topics are clustered together into topics. The default is true.
Maximum type clusters displayed
This setting limits the number of type clusters displayed on the search results page. The default is 15 type clusters.
Maximum topic clusters displayed
This setting limits the number of topic clusters displayed on the search results page. The default is 15 topic clusters.
Maximum site clusters displayed
This setting limits the number of site clusters displayed on the search results page. The default is 8 site clusters.
Eliminator words and phrases
Any word or phrase that appears in the eliminator list prevents all clusters containing the eliminator word or phrase from being displayed to the end-user. This setting is useful for fine-tuning the clusters.
End-eliminator words and phrases
Any word or phrase that appears in the end-eliminator list prevents all clusters ending with the word or phrase from being presented. For example, if the word ‘requires’ is added to the end-eliminator list, the cluster ‘this law requires’ is suppressed. This setting is useful for fine-tuning the clusters.
Case sensitive words
Any term in the case sensitive words list that appears in a cluster will be displayed with the same capitalisation as it appears in the list. This is useful for terms such as ‘US’, ‘Mr’ and ‘AUD’.
The summary fields are Funnelback metadata classes that are analysed by contextual navigation. The default summary fields are description (‘c’) and subject (‘s’) metadata. Any other metadata classes that contain descriptive information can be added to this list to further enhance the quality of clusters.
How does contextual navigation work?
Contextual Navigation works by performing an on-the-fly analysis of an extended set of search result summaries at query time. Commonly occurring phrases that meet certain criteria are presented along-side the search results as suggestions for query refinement. Clicking on a suggestion reveals the search results for that suggestion and a new set of suggestions for further refining the query.
An example of a result page with contextual navigation shown below, with the contextual navigation suggestions appearing at the bottom of the result list.