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Table of contents :

What is vector search and how does it work?


Table of contents :


In today’s age of technology where everything is digital, it is of utmost importance to optimize data search strategies that are faster and more efficient. Traditional keyword-based retrieval methods are becoming outdated as they are unable to provide the desired results for complex queries. This is where vector search comes into play.

What is vector search?

Vector search is a search methodology that calculates the distance between a query vector and a set of document vectors. It is a machine learning approach that uses a mathematical relationship between objects to retrieve results that are similar to a user query.

In simpler terms, a vector is a collection of numbers that represents a document or query. Vector search algorithms calculate similarities and differences between vectors to find the closest match to the query.

How does vector search work?

Vector search uses complex algorithms to map a document or query into a multi-dimensional space. Each dimension represents a unique aspect of the document or query. For instance, a vector representing a book might have dimensions like ‘author,’ ‘genre,’ ‘language,’ ‘publication year,’ etc.

Once the vector representation has been established for a document or query, the system calculates its position in the multi-dimensional space. Now, when a user inputs a query, it is converted into a query vector, and the system performs a distance calculation between the query vector and the document vectors in the space model.

The search results are based on the similarity score calculated between the query vector and each document vector, giving the user a list of documents with the highest similarity score.

Here’s an example of a basic PHP client code for retrieving documents using vector search with the help of Elasticsearch.

$params = [
  'body' => [
    'query' => [
      'script_score' => [
        'query' => [
          'match_all' => []
       'script' => [
         'source' => 'binary_vector_score',
         'params' => [
           'sparse_vector' => [
             '1' => 1,
             '3' => 1
         'field' => 'vector'

$response = $client->search($params);

This code snippet shows how to retrieve documents using binary vector search with Elasticsearch. The query is executed using the match_all query clause, and the response is scored using the binary_vector_score script, which calculates the similarity between the query vector and the document vectors.

How can WPSOLR help?

WPSOLR is a plugin that integrates Elasticsearch with WordPress to provide advanced search capabilities. With WPSOLR, vector search can be achieved easily and efficiently on any WordPress website.

WPSOLR automatically indexes the content of WordPress website into Elasticsearch or Solr, so every WordPress post and page becomes searchable. It also provides a set of tools that make it easy to configure and manage search results, including relevancy tuning and search filters.

So, if you are looking for an efficient and user-friendly search solution for your WordPress website, WPSOLR could be just what you need.


Vector search is a powerful search methodology that is being increasingly used by businesses and organizations to optimize data search strategies. By leveraging vector search, businesses can get better insights, improve productivity and serve their customers more efficiently. With the help of WPSOLR, organizations can achieve vector search capabilities on their WordPress websites quickly and easily.

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