Boolean search

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Boolean search

[′bü·lē·ən ′sərch]
(computer science)
A search for selected information, that is, information satisfying conditions that can be expressed by AND, OR, and NOT functions.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Boolean search

(information science)
(Or "Boolean query") A query using the Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT, and parentheses to construct a complex condition from simpler criteria. A typical example is searching for combinatons of keywords on a World-Wide Web search engine.


car or automobile

"New York" and not "New York state"

The term is sometimes stretched to include searches using other operators, e.g. "near".

Not to be confused with binary search.

See also: weighted search.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

Boolean search

A search for data that meets several criteria by using the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (see Boolean logic). For example, the request: "Search for all Spanish and French speaking employees who have MBAs" would be written as follows if the query were expressed on a command line. Spanish and French are placed in parentheses in order to be treated as a single item.
list for degree="MBA" and(language="Spanish" or language="French")

In the following example, the parentheses are missing, and the query is incorrect. The AND ties MBA and Spanish together; therefore, people who speak Spanish and have an MBA would be selected, which is correct. However, the OR separates French from the rest of the query, and anyone speaking French, no matter which degree they held, would also be selected.
list for degree="MBA" andlanguage="Spanish" or language="French"

A Google "Advanced" (Boolean) Search
Searching text on Web pages is much less exact than querying records in a database, and this search actually produced 10 million results. However, the Boolean concept does still apply. In this Google "Advanced Search," the OR is stated clearly, but the AND and NOT operators are there nonetheless.
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References in periodicals archive ?
How much time is wasted trying to construct a Boolean query for a complex search or waiting in the queue of a data scientist to get the search results requested?
Then a query user can send the boolean query token to the cloud server, and the cloud server performs computing and search operation in the index by the query token.
7,536,368 for a tool which "automatically reformulates a problem statement into a natural language or Boolean query that is automatically submitted via a knowledge search tool to a database, and responses to this query from the database are automatically provided."
Many online news systems classify articles automatically by matching a Boolean query against articles.
Thus in several steps, a matching set for any complex Boolean query can be found.
Specific topics include semantic Web service synthesis, a WordNet ontology based model for Web retrieval, mapping between data sources on the Web, a Boolean query reformulation interface for information retrieval based on adaptive generalization, collaborative filtering by mining association rules from user access sequences, reliability and performance estimation for enriched WS-SAGAS (a "transaction model for Web services compositions reliable specification"), and postal address detection from Web documents.
Pattern recognition differs from the more common keyword searching or Boolean query techniques.