Texsearch is a search index specialised for LaTeX equations. Developed for latexsearch.com.
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Texsearch is a search index specialised for LaTeX equations, forming part of the backend for Springer's latexsearch.com. Latexsearch currently indexes more than 2 million documents drawn from Springer journals and books.

Every LaTeX equation in the corpus is parsed and evaluated on entry to produce an AST. The similarity between a pair of equations is calculated as the Levenshtein distance between their respective ASTs as a fraction of the total size of the ASTs. Given a LateX equation as a search term, texsearch will retrieve all equations in the corpus whose similarity to the search term falls under a specified margin.

The index uses a suffix array to quickly calculate a superset of the search results by finding exact matches of fragments of the search term.

Previous versions use a modified bk-tree which is capable of performing vicinity searches over any quasi-metric space using any query function satisfying:

For all a. query a >= 0
For all a, b. query b - query a <= dist a b

This index is stored in-memory and is relatively compact - the index for latexsearch.com is under 800MB.


Couchdb is the root process. The preprocessor and index are run as _external services on couchdb. Raw data is stored in the 'documents' db on couchdb. The search index is stored in the file 'data/index'.

Springer documents are uploaded to the server as xml files. The command 'db.py --add some_doc.xml' extracts latex formulae and metadata from some_doc.xml, runs the latex through the preprocessor and stores the results in couchdb. The command 'index -update' uses the couchdb change log to locate new or modified documents and update the index file. Restarting the index external service causes it to load the new index file.


Tested with:

couchdb 0.6.0

ocaml 3.12.0 ancient 0.9.0 json-wheel 1.0.6 json-static 0.9.8 ocamlnet 3.2 pcre-ocaml 6.2.2 xml-light 2.2

python 2.6.6 couchdb 0.6 (python lib) httplib2 0.5.0 plastex 0.9.2