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  2 - caDSR API REST-like Examples | caDSR API Guide | caDSR I - Legacy API Terms and Definitions

The caDSR Freestyle Search performs weighted semantic searches on the content of Administered Items in the caDSR.

Freestyle Search

Freestyle Search is packaged as an API and also includes a sample UI accessible from a web browser. Freestyle Search performs a "soft" or "fuzzy" search; the search terms and phrases are not required to exactly match metadata items.

Freestyle Search Notes

  • There is no wild card character. Whether or not a match is made using the whole term or a partial string is controlled through the Options.
  • The search terms are used as entered. No option currently exists to compare based on roots.
  • You must separate multiple terms with a space.
  • Searches are NOT case sensitive. GENE is the same as gene.

Search Fields and Returned Record Types

The following table lists

  • The caDSR database fields searched for the terms that you enter in Freestyle Search.
  • The record types returned by default for a Freestyle Search. You can limit the record types by clicking Options.
Database Search FieldsReturned Record Types
  • Version
  • Long Name
  • Preferred Name
  • Preferred Definition
  • Question
  • Public ID
  • Latest Version Indicator
  • Created By
  • Modified By
  • Workflow Status
  • Registration Status
  • Context
  • Alternate Name
  • Definition Source
  • Origin
  • Data Element
  • Data Element Concept
  • Value Domain
  • Object Class
  • Property, Concept
  • Conceptual Domain
  • Value Meaning

Results Are Assigned a Numerical Weight

When matches are found, the results are assigned a numerical weight. The search "weighting" algorithm includes

  • Order of the terms matched
  • Number of terms matched
  • Administered Item type
  • Workflow Status
  • Registration Status.

Results are returned sorted in descending order with the heaviest (highest value) weight first. Search options are set by default, but you can modify them and dynamically alter the weights.

Administered Items Searched in Freestyle SearchAttributes Searched in Freestyle Search
  • Data Element
  • Data Element Concept
  • Value Domain
  • Object Class
  • Property
  • Concept
  • Conceptual Domain
  • Value Meaning
  • Version
  • Long Name
  • Preferred Name
  • Name
  • Preferred Definition
  • Question
  • Public ID
  • Latest Version Indicator
  • Created By
  • Modified By
  • Workflow Status
  • Registration Status
  • Context
  • Alternate Name
  • Definition Source and Origin

Using the Freestyle Search User Interface (UI)

A UI is provided at https://freestyle.nci.nih.gov/freestyle/ and allows full exercise of the Search engine capabilities on the caDSR Production database. This is available to anyone without the need to login to the servers. The UI also provides a way for developers to test expected behavior independent of other software. Options selected in the UI map directly to the options available through the API. 

Performing a Search

To perform a search

  1. Enter one term or multiple terms separated by spaces.

    The results display below the search panel.

    Minimizing Results with More Search Terms

    To minimize the number of results, click Options to modify your search preferences (exclude the Test and/or Training Contexts, exclude RETIRED Administered Components, etc.)

    Entered More Terms, Received More Results

    The search tries to match as many of the terms as possible and lets the weighting calculation determine the order. Entering more terms means there is a higher probability at least one of the terms will match. However, matches on multiple terms score higher and are presented first.
  2. To display additional information about the returned item, click Details.
     The following are Data Element Concept details.
    caDSR Freestyle Search Details

Specifying Search Options to Affect Results

To minimize or expand the number of results returned

  1. Click Options on the Freestyle Search window.
  2. The search options are listed.
    caDSR Freestyle Search Options for Results
  3. You can modify the following search options to adjust the number of results returned.
    • You can match a whole or partial term or whole first, and if there are no results, then a partial term.
    • Check to restrict the results to certain types of record types, such as Data Element and Data Element Concept (all are included by default).
    • Specify the maximum number of results (100 is the default).
    • Specify the number of top score groups (3 is the default).
    • Check to exclude RETIRED Workflow status, Text context, and Training context (all are included by default).
  4. Click Search again, and the search options you selected will be applied to the result list.

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