Mathematical functions


Returns the absolute value of the argument.


Returns the arctangent function of two arguments, expressed in radians.


BITDOT(mask, w0, w1, ...) returns the sum of products of an each bit of a mask multiplied with its weight. bit0*w0 + bit1*w1 + ...


Returns the smallest integer value greater or equal to the argument.


Returns the cosine of the argument.


Returns the CRC32 value of a string argument.


Returns the exponent of the argument (e=2.718... to the power of the argument).


Returns the N-th Fibonacci number, where N is the integer argument. That is, arguments of 0 and up will generate the values 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and so on. Note that the computations are done using 32-bit integer math and thus numbers 48th and up will be returned modulo 2\^32.


Returns the largest integer value lesser or equal to the argument.


GREATEST(attr_json.some_array) function takes JSON array as the argument, and returns the greatest value in that array. Also works for MVA.


Returns the result of an integer division of the first argument by the second argument. Both arguments must be of an integer type.


LEAST(attr_json.some_array) function takes JSON array as the argument, and returns the least value in that array. Also works for MVA.


Returns the natural logarithm of the argument (with the base of e=2.718...).


Returns the common logarithm of the argument (with the base of 10).


Returns the binary logarithm of the argument (with the base of 2).


Returns the bigger of two arguments.


Returns the smaller of two arguments.


Returns the first argument raised to the power of the second argument.


RAND(seed) function returns a random float between 0..1. Optionally can accept seed which can be:

  • constant integer
  • or integer attribute's name

If you use the seed take into account that it resets rand()'s starting point separately for each plain table / RT disk / RAM chunk / pseudo shard, so queries to a distributed table in any form can return multiple identical random values.


Returns the sine of the argument.


Returns the square root of the argument.

Searching and ranking functions


BM25A(k1,b) returns precise BM25A(). Requires ranker expr and enabled index_field_lengths. Parameters k and b must be float.


BM25F(k1,b, {field=weight, ...}) returns precise BM25F() and index_field_lengths to be enabled. Requires expr ranker. k and b parameters must be float.


Replaces non-existent columns with default values. It returns either a value of an attribute specified by 'attr-name', or 'default-value' if that attribute does not exist. It does not support STRING or MVA attributes. This function is handy when you are searching through several tables with different schemas.

SELECT *, EXIST('gid', 6) as cnd FROM i1, i2 WHERE cnd>5


Returns sort key value of the worst found element in the current top-N matches if sort key is float and 0 otherwise.


Returns weight of the worst found element in the current top-N matches.


PACKEDFACTORS() can be used in queries, either to just see all the weighting factors calculated when doing the matching, or to provide a binary attribute that can be used to write a custom ranking UDF. This function works only if expression ranker is specified and the query is not a full scan, otherwise it will return an error. PACKEDFACTORS() can take an optional argument that disables ATC ranking factor calculation: PACKEDFACTORS({no_atc=1}) Calculating ATC slows down query processing considerably, so this option can be useful if you need to see the ranking factors, but do not need ATC. PACKEDFACTORS() can also be told to format its output as JSON: PACKEDFACTORS({json=1}) The respective outputs in either key-value pair or JSON format would look as follows below. (Note that the examples below are wrapped for readability; actual returned values would be single-line.)

    -> WHERE MATCH('test one') OPTION ranker=expr('1') \G
*************************** 1\. row ***************************
             id: 1
packedfactors(): bm25=569, bm25a=0.617197, field_mask=2, doc_word_count=2,
    field1=(lcs=1, hit_count=2, word_count=2, tf_idf=0.152356,
        min_idf=-0.062982, max_idf=0.215338, sum_idf=0.152356, min_hit_pos=4,
        min_best_span_pos=4, exact_hit=0, max_window_hits=1, min_gaps=2,
        exact_order=1, lccs=1, wlccs=0.215338, atc=-0.003974),
    word0=(tf=1, idf=-0.062982),
    word1=(tf=1, idf=0.215338)
1 row in set (0.00 sec)
mysql> SELECT id, PACKEDFACTORS({json=1}) FROM test1
    -> WHERE MATCH('test one') OPTION ranker=expr('1') \G
*************************** 1\. row ***************************
                     id: 1

    "bm25": 569,
    "bm25a": 0.617197,
    "field_mask": 2,
    "doc_word_count": 2,
    "fields": [
            "lcs": 1,
            "hit_count": 2,
            "word_count": 2,
            "tf_idf": 0.152356,
            "min_idf": -0.062982,
            "max_idf": 0.215338,
            "sum_idf": 0.152356,
            "min_hit_pos": 4,
            "min_best_span_pos": 4,
            "exact_hit": 0,
            "max_window_hits": 1,
            "min_gaps": 2,
            "exact_order": 1,
            "lccs": 1,
            "wlccs": 0.215338,
            "atc": -0.003974
    "words": [
            "tf": 1,
            "idf": -0.062982
            "tf": 1,
            "idf": 0.215338

1 row in set (0.01 sec)

This function can be used to implement custom ranking functions in UDFs, as in

FROM my_index
WHERE match('hello')
OPTION ranker=expr('1');

Where CUSTOM_RANK() is a function implemented in an UDF. It should declare a SPH_UDF_FACTORS structure (defined in sphinxudf.h), initialize this structure, unpack the factors into it before usage, and deinitialize it afterwards, as follows:

sphinx_factors_unpack((DWORD*)args->arg_values[0], &factors);
// ... can use the contents of factors variable here ...

PACKEDFACTORS() data is available at all query stages, not just when doing the initial matching and ranking pass. That enables another particularly interesting application of PACKEDFACTORS(), namely re-ranking.

In the example just above, we used an expression-based ranker with a dummy expression, and sorted the result set by the value computed by our UDF. In other words, we used the UDF to rank all our results. Assume now, for the sake of an example, that our UDF is extremely expensive to compute and has a throughput of just 10,000 calls per second. Assume that our query matches 1,000,000 documents. To maintain reasonable performance, we would then want to use a (much) simpler expression to do most of our ranking, and then apply the expensive UDF to only a few top results, say, top-100 results. Or, in other words, build top-100 results using a simpler ranking function and then re-rank those with a complex one. We can do that just as well with subselects:

    FROM my_index WHERE match('hello')
    OPTION ranker=expr('sum(lcs)*1000+bm25')
    LIMIT 100

In this example, expression-based ranker will be called for every matched document to compute WEIGHT(). So it will get called 1,000,000 times. But the UDF computation can be postponed until the outer sort. And it also will be done for just the top-100 matches by WEIGHT(), according to the inner limit. So the UDF will only get called 100 times. And then the final top-10 matches by UDF value will be selected and returned to the application.

For reference, in the distributed case PACKEDFACTORS() data gets sent from the agents to master in a binary format, too. This makes it technically feasible to implement additional re-ranking pass (or passes) on the master node, if needed.

If used in SQL, but not called from any UDFs, the result of PACKEDFACTORS() is simply formatted as plain text, which can be used to manually assess the ranking factors. Note that this feature is not currently supported by the Manticore API.


REMOVE_REPEATS ( result_set, column, offset, limit ) - removes repeated adjusted rows with the same 'column' value.



WEIGHT() function returns the calculated matching score. If no ordering specified, the result is sorted descending by the score provided by WEIGHT(). In this example we order first by weight and then by an integer attribute.

The search above does a simple matching, where all words need to be present. But we can do more (and this is just a simple example):

mysql> SELECT *,WEIGHT() FROM testrt WHERE MATCH('"list of business laptops"/3');
| id   | gid  | title                               | content                   | weight() |
|    1 |   10 | List of HP business laptops         | Elitebook Probook         |     2397 |
|    2 |   10 | List of Dell business laptops       | Latitude Precision Vostro |     2397 |
|    3 |   20 | List of Dell gaming laptops         | Inspirion Alienware       |     2375 |
|    5 |   30 | List of ASUS ultrabooks and laptops | Zenbook Vivobook          |     2375 |
4 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> SHOW META;
| Variable_name  | Value    |
| total          | 4        |
| total_found    | 4        |
| total_relation | eq       |
| time           | 0.000    |
| keyword[0]     | list     |
| docs[0]        | 5        |
| hits[0]        | 5        |
| keyword[1]     | of       |
| docs[1]        | 4        |
| hits[1]        | 4        |
| keyword[2]     | business |
| docs[2]        | 2        |
| hits[2]        | 2        |
| keyword[3]     | laptops  |
| docs[3]        | 5        |
| hits[3]        | 5        |
16 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Here we search for 4 words, but we can have a match even if only 3 words (of 4) are found. The search will rank higher first the documents that contain all the words.


ZONESPANLIST() function returns pairs of matched zone spans. Each pair contains the matched zone span identifier, a colon, and the order number of the matched zone span. For example, if a document reads <emphasis role="bold"><i>text</i> the <i>text</i></emphasis>, and you query for 'ZONESPAN:(i,b) text', then ZONESPANLIST() will return the string "1:1 1:2 2:1" meaning that the first zone span matched "text" in spans 1 and 2, and the second zone span in span 1 only.


QUERY() returns the current search query. QUERY() is a postlimit expression and is intended to be used with SNIPPET().

Table functions is a mechanism of post-query result set processing. Table functions take an arbitrary result set as their input, and return a new, processed set as their output. The first argument should be the input result set, but a table function can optionally take and handle more arguments. Table functions can completely change the result set, including the schema. For now, only built in table functions are supported. Table functions work for both outer SELECT and nested SELECT.

Type casting functions


Forcibly promotes the integer argument to 64-bit type, and does nothing on floating point argument. It's intended to help enforce evaluation of certain expressions (such as a*b) in 64-bit mode even though all the arguments are 32-bit.


Forcibly promotes given argument to floating point type. Intended to help enforce evaluation of numeric JSON fields.


Forcibly promotes given argument to 64-bit signed type. Intended to help enforce evaluation of numeric JSON fields.


Forcibly promotes the argument to string type


Forcibly reinterprets given argument to 64-bit unsigned type.


Forcibly reinterprets its 32-bit unsigned integer argument as signed, and also expands it to 64-bit type (because 32-bit type is unsigned). It's easily illustrated by the following example: 1-2 normally evaluates to 4294967295, but SINT(1-2) evaluates to -1.