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, and _doc to sort by index order.

Assuming the following index mapping:

PUT /my_index
{
    "mappings": {
        "my_type": {
            "properties": {
                "post_date": { "type": "date" },
                "user": {
                    "type": "keyword"
                },
                "name": {
                    "type": "keyword"
                },
                "age": { "type": "integer" }
            }
        }
    }
}
GET /my_index/my_type/_search
{
    "sort" : [
        { "post_date" : {"order" : "asc"}},
        "user",
        { "name" : "desc" },
        { "age" : "desc" },
        "_score"
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}
Note

_doc has no real use-case besides being the most efficient sort order. So if you don’t care about the order in which documents are returned, then you should sort by _doc. This especially helps when scrolling.

Sort Valuesedit

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

Sort Orderedit

The order option can have the following values:

asc

Sort in ascending order

desc

Sort in descending order

The order defaults to desc when sorting on the _score, and defaults to asc when sorting on anything else.

Sort mode optionedit

Elasticsearch supports sorting by array or 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.

median

Use the median 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 sorted by price ascending based on the average price per document.

PUT /my_index/my_type/1?refresh
{
   "product": "chocolate",
   "price": [20, 4]
}

POST /_search
{
   "query" : {
      "term" : { "product" : "chocolate" }
   },
   "sort" : [
      {"price" : {"order" : "asc", "mode" : "avg"}}
   ]
}

Sorting within nested objects.edit

Elasticsearch also 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 on which nested object to sort. The actual sort field must be a direct field inside this nested object. When sorting by nested field, this field is mandatory.
nested_filter
A filter that 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. The nested_path needs to be specified; otherwise, elasticsearch doesn’t know on what nested level sort values need to be captured.

POST /_search
{
   "query" : {
      "term" : { "product" : "chocolate" }
   },
   "sort" : [
       {
          "offer.price" : {
             "mode" :  "avg",
             "order" : "asc",
             "nested_path" : "offer",
             "nested_filter" : {
                "term" : { "offer.color" : "blue" }
             }
          }
       }
    ]
}

Nested sorting is also supported 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). The default is _last.

For example:

GET /_search
{
    "sort" : [
        { "price" : {"missing" : "_last"} }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "product" : "chocolate" }
    }
}
Note

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 unmapped_type option allows to ignore fields that have no mapping and not sort by them. The value of this parameter is used to determine what sort values to emit. Here is an example of how it can be used:

GET /_search
{
    "sort" : [
        { "price" : {"unmapped_type" : "long"} }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "product" : "chocolate" }
    }
}

If any of the indices that are queried doesn’t have a mapping for price then Elasticsearch will handle it as if there was a mapping of type long, with all documents in this index having no value for this field.

Geo Distance Sortingedit

Allow to sort by _geo_distance. Here is an example, assuming pin.location is a field of type geo_point:

GET /_search
{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : [-70, 40],
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km",
                "mode" : "min",
                "distance_type" : "arc"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}
distance_type
How to compute the distance. Can either be arc (default), or plane (faster, but inaccurate on long distances and close to the poles).
mode
What to do in case a field has several geo points. By default, the shortest distance is taken into account when sorting in ascending order and the longest distance when sorting in descending order. Supported values are min, max, median and avg.
unit
The unit to use when computing sort values. The default is m (meters).
Note

geo distance sorting does not support configurable missing values: the distance will always be considered equal to Infinity when a document does not have values for the field that is used for distance computation.

The following formats are supported in providing the coordinates:

Lat Lon as Propertiesedit

GET /_search
{
    "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.

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

Geohashedit

GET /_search
{
    "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.

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

Multiple reference pointsedit

Multiple geo points can be passed as an array containing any geo_point format, for example

GET /_search
{
    "sort" : [
        {
            "_geo_distance" : {
                "pin.location" : [[-70, 40], [-71, 42]],
                "order" : "asc",
                "unit" : "km"
            }
        }
    ],
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    }
}

and so forth.

The final distance for a document will then be min/max/avg (defined via mode) distance of all points contained in the document to all points given in the sort request.

Script Based Sortingedit

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

GET /_search
{
    "query" : {
        "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" }
    },
    "sort" : {
        "_script" : {
            "type" : "number",
            "script" : {
                "lang": "painless",
                "inline": "doc['field_name'].value * params.factor",
                "params" : {
                    "factor" : 1.1
                }
            },
            "order" : "asc"
        }
    }
}

Track Scoresedit

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

GET /_search
{
    "track_scores": true,
    "sort" : [
        { "post_date" : {"order" : "desc"} },
        { "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 narrower types (like short, integer and float).