The DisMax query parser is designed to process simple phrases (without complex syntax) entered by users and to search for individual terms across several fields using different weighting (boosts) based on the significance of each field. Additional options enable users to influence the score based on rules specific to each use case (independent of user input).
In general, the DisMax query parser’s interface is more like that of Google than the interface of the ‘standard’ Solr request handler. This similarity makes DisMax the appropriate query parser for many consumer applications. It accepts a simple syntax, and it rarely produces error messages.
The DisMax query parser supports an extremely simplified subset of the Lucene QueryParser syntax. As in Lucene, quotes can be used to group phrases, and +/- can be used to denote mandatory and optional clauses. All other Lucene query parser special characters (except AND and OR) are escaped to simplify the user experience.
The DisMax query parser takes responsibility for building a good query from the user’s input using Boolean clauses containing DisMax queries across fields and boosts specified by the user. It also lets the Solr administrator provide additional boosting queries, boosting functions, and filtering queries to artificially affect the outcome of all searches.
These options can all be specified as default parameters for the handler in the solrconfig.xml file or overridden in the Solr query URL.
Interested in the technical concept behind the DisMax name? DisMax stands for Maximum Disjunction.
Here’s a definition of a Maximum
Disjunction or “DisMax” query:
Apache Solr Reference Guide 4.8 185
A query that generates the union of documents produced by its subqueries, and that scores each document with the maximum
score for that document as produced by any subquery, plus a tie breaking increment for any additional matching subqueries.
Whether or not you remember this explanation, do remember that the DisMax request handler was primarily designed to be easy to use and to accept almost any input without returning an error.
In addition to the common request parameter, highlighting parameters, and simple facet parameters, the DisMax query parser supports the
parameters described below. Like the standard query parser, the DisMax query parser allows default parameter values to be specified in solrco nfig.xml, or overridden by query-time values in the request.
Solr Basic Reference:Solr Tutorial