Sortedit

Allows to add one or more sort on specific fields. Each sort can be reversed as well. The sort is defined on a per field level, with special field name for _score to sort by score.

{
    "sort" : [
        { "post_date" : {"order" : "asc"}},
        "user",
        { "name" : "desc" },
        { "age" : "desc" },
        "_score"
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Sort Valuesedit

The sort values for each document returned are also returned as part of the response.

Sort mode optionedit

From version 0.90.0.Beta1 Elasticsearch supports sorting by array fields which is also known as multi-valued fields. The mode option controls what array value is picked for sorting the document it belongs to. The mode option can have the following values:

min

Pick the lowest value.

max

Pick the highest value.

sum

Use the sum of all values as sort value. Only applicable for number based array fields.

avg

Use the average of all values as sort value. Only applicable for number based array fields.

Sort mode example usageedit

In the example below the field price has multiple prices per document. In this case the result hits will be sort by price ascending based on the average price per document.

curl -XPOST 'localhost:9200/_search' -d '{
   "query" : {
    ...
   },
   "sort" : [
      {"price" : {"order" : "asc", "mode" : "avg"}}
   ]
}'

Sorting within nested objects.edit

Also from version 0.90.0.Beta1 Elasticsearch supports sorting by fields that are inside one or more nested objects. The sorting by nested field support has the following parameters on top of the already existing sort options:

nested_path
Defines the on what nested object to sort. The actual sort field must be a direct field inside this nested object. The default is to use the most immediate inherited nested object from the sort field.
nested_filter
A filter the inner objects inside the nested path should match with in order for its field values to be taken into account by sorting. Common case is to repeat the query / filter inside the nested filter or query. By default no nested_filter is active.

Nested sorting exampleedit

In the below example offer is a field of type nested. Because offer is the closest inherited nested field, it is picked as nested_path. Only the inner objects that have color blue will participate in sorting.

curl -XPOST 'localhost:9200/_search' -d '{
   "query" : {
    ...
   },
   "sort" : [
       {
          "offer.price" : {
             "mode" :  "avg",
             "order" : "asc",
             "nested_filter" : {
                "term" : { "offer.color" : "blue" }
             }
          }
       }
    ]
}'

Since version 0.90.1 nested sorting is also support when sorting by scripts and sorting by geo distance.

Missing Valuesedit

The missing parameter specifies how docs which are missing the field should be treated: The missing value can be set to _last, _first, or a custom value (that will be used for missing docs as the sort value). For example:

{
    "sort" : [
        { "price" : {"missing" : "_last"} },
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Note: from version 0.90.1 if a nested inner object doesn’t match with the nested_filter then a missing value is used.

Ignoring Unmapped Fieldsedit

By default, the search request will fail if there is no mapping associated with a field. The ignore_unmapped option allows to ignore fields that have no mapping and not sort by them. Here is an example of how it can be used:

{
    "sort" : [
        { "price" : {"ignore_unmapped" : true} },
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Geo Distance Sortingedit

Allow to sort by _geo_distance. Here is an example:

{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : [-70, 40],
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Note: the geo distance sorting supports sort_mode options: min, max and avg.

The following formats are supported in providing the coordinates:

Lat Lon as Propertiesedit

{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : {
                    "lat" : 40,
                    "lon" : -70
                },
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Lat Lon as Stringedit

Format in lat,lon.

{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : "-70,40",
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Geohashedit

{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : "drm3btev3e86",
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Lat Lon as Arrayedit

Format in [lon, lat], note, the order of lon/lat here in order to conform with GeoJSON.

{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : [-70, 40],
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Script Based Sortingedit

Allow to sort based on custom scripts, here is an example:

{
    "query" : {
        ....
    },
    "sort" : {
        "_script" : {
            "script" : "doc['field_name'].value * factor",
            "type" : "number",
            "params" : {
                "factor" : 1.1
            },
            "order" : "asc"
        }
    }
}

Note, it is recommended, for single custom based script based sorting, to use custom_score query instead as sorting based on score is faster.

Track Scoresedit

When sorting on a field, scores are not computed. By setting track_scores to true, scores will still be computed and tracked.

{
    "track_scores": true,
    "sort" : [
        { "post_date" : {"reverse" : true} },
        { "name" : "desc" },
        { "age" : "desc" }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

Memory Considerationsedit

When sorting, the relevant sorted field values are loaded into memory. This means that per shard, there should be enough memory to contain them. For string based types, the field sorted on should not be analyzed / tokenized. For numeric types, if possible, it is recommended to explicitly set the type to six_hun types (like short, integer and float).

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