What is a federated search engine?

Asked 2 years ago

My company is making the switch to federated search engines. What exactly is a federated search engine?

Abeeha Qasmi

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Federated search engine refers to a technology built on top of search engines that enables users to retrieve information from multiple information sources—all from one interface. With its ability to search across millions of disparate databases and information ecosystems, the federated search engine has proven invaluable—especially for organizations with large databases.

There are two types of federated search engines:

  1. Search-time Merging: Also known as query-time merging, this federated search engine uses a query federator to forward the requested query to separate search engines of different data sources.
  2. Index-time Merging: A federated search system that forms a unified index of all data sources searched at once.

Combining Index-time merging with AI (machine learning) is recommended to enhance a federated search engine's capability, relevance, and efficiency.

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