Simple Search Engine Program in Python

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This program will get data from a folder called Data which has txt files and will return the filename with a score but I don’t think it’s really good.

Can I get any kind of feedback on this program. Is there anyway this can be written in a better way or something that should be added to?

import os, nltk, re
from nltk import word_tokenize
from nltk.corpus import stopwords'stopwords') # helps remove stop words such as "the", "and" etc'punkt') # Punkt sentence tokenizer, helps break down text
files = os.listdir("Data/")

f = open("words.txt","r")
contents = f.readlines()
vocab = []
for word in contents:
word_set = set(vocab)

def process_files(dir, filenames):
    file_to_terms = {}
    for file in filenames:
        pattern = re.compile('[W_]+')
        name = dir + file
        file_to_terms[file] = open(name, 'r').read().lower();
        file_to_terms[file] = pattern.sub(' ',file_to_terms[file])
        re.sub(r'[W_]+','', file_to_terms[file])
        file_to_terms[file] = file_to_terms[file].split()
    return file_to_terms

listdata = []
listdata = process_files("Data/",files)
print("storing keywords in dictionary done")

def index_one_file(termlist):
    fileIndex = {}
    for index, word in enumerate(termlist):
        if word in fileIndex.keys():
            fileIndex[word] = [index]
    return fileIndex

def make_indices(termlists):
    total = {}
    for filename in termlists.keys():
        total[filename] = index_one_file(termlists[filename])
    return total

indexwordallfiles = make_indices(listdata)

print("constructing inverted index.")
def fullIndex(regdex):
    total_index = {}
    for filename in regdex.keys():
        for word in regdex[filename].keys():
            if word in total_index.keys():
                if filename in total_index[word].keys():
                    total_index[word][filename] = regdex[filename][word]
                total_index[word] = {filename: regdex[filename][word]}
    return total_index
wordindex = fullIndex(indexwordallfiles)

print("now proceeding with the query part")
def one_word_query(word, invertedIndex):
    pattern = re.compile('[W_]+')
    word = pattern.sub(' ',word)
    if word in invertedIndex.keys():
        return [filename for filename in invertedIndex[word].keys()]
        return []

def free_text_query(string):
    pattern = re.compile('[W_]+')
    string = pattern.sub(' ',string.lower())
    result = []
    print(" returning intersection of files")
    for word in string.split():
    A = result[0].intersection(result[1])
    for i in range(1,len(result)-1):
        A = A.intersection(result[i+1])
    return list(A)

k = len(files)
dic = {}
for item in wordindex:
    k = 0
    for fil in wordindex[item]:
        k += (len(wordindex[item][fil]))
    dic[item] = k


def keywithmaxval(d):
     """ a) create a list of the dict's keys and values; 
         b) return the key with the max value"""  
      v = list(d.values())
      k = list(d.keys())
      value = k[v.index(max(v))]
      return value

def startQuery(query):
    pattern = re.compile('[W_]+')
    query = pattern.sub(' ',query.lower())
    txtlist = word_tokenize(str(query))
    txtlist = [word for word in txtlist if not word in stopwords.words('english')]
    toreturn = {}
    for f in files:
    for item in txtlist:
        listfilename = one_word_query(item,wordindex)
        for t in listfilename:
            toreturn[t] +=1
    num_of_files = len([iq for iq in os.scandir('Data/')])
    for i in range(0,num_of_files):
        tx = keywithmaxval(toreturn)
        print("filename ", tx ," score ", toreturn[tx])
        return tx
        if toreturn[tx] != 0:
            del toreturn[tx]


For nltk, default_download_dir is PYTHONHOMElibnltk on Windows or one of various /usr directories, falling back to the home directory, for the rest of the world. In a production application you would want to separate the download() step into the setup code rather than the application code.


  • Consider replacing os.listdir and related functions with equivalent but more sugar-y calls to pathlib
  • From your open() call onwards, that code belongs in one or more methods rather than the global namespace
  • Don’t call re.compile from the inside of a loop; pre-compile your expression at the beginning of the method. Also, after doing this (repeated) compilation, you throw away the results and call re.sub. Use pattern.sub instead.
  • No need to semicolon-terminate your statements
  • Use with on your file opens
  • Consider adding PEP484 type hints
  • listdata = [] is redundant and can be deleted because you trample right over it on the next line; same with A={}
  • fileIndex would be file_index by PEP8
  • [filename for filename in invertedIndex[word].keys()] can be list(inverted_index[word])
  • dic is a poor name for a variable; it says the type but not what’s inside
  • [word for word in txtlist if not word in stopwords.words('english')] would be better-represented by set subtraction
  • range(0,num_of_files) can drop the 0 since that’s default

This block:

    return tx
    if toreturn[tx] != 0:
        del toreturn[tx]

will never see the last two statements executed.

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