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Ask Jeeves seeks to solve search query


By Cathleen Moore

(IDG) -- Search vendor Ask Jeeves plans to roll out new search technology designed to analyze Web page subject matter and unearth community relationships. The initiative comes as IBM plans to build on its own research to expand Web data mining.

Ask Jeeves acquired the technology from Teoma Technologies in September. Teoma's technology uses compact mathematical modeling of the Web's structure to generate dynamic queries. After searching using criteria such as popularity and text analysis, it applies dynamic topic clustering, subject-specific link analysis, and expert identification. Dynamic topic clustering looks at the Web from a local perspective, which enables Teoma to understand the subject matter of Web pages, said Paul Gardi, vice president of search at Ask Jeeves in Emeryville, California.

"The problem with typical methods of search such as text analysis and popularity is that sites pointing to the link could be junk," Gardi said. "Teoma's [technology] can understand subject-specific reference to pages, which is key to delivering not just relevant but authoritative results." INFOCENTER
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Ask Jeeves plans to integrate Teoma search results in its site within the next month, syndicate the technology to portals and Web sites in the second quarter, and later this year offer Teoma as a site-specific search tool for enterprises.

IBM pioneered the link analysis search process with a research project dubbed Clever. Clever attempted to expand document-centric Web search techniques by exploring the sociological cues that exist on the Web, such as links between documents. Google and other search sites use link analysis today as a component of search functions.

Later this month, IBM plans to unveil new technology aimed at elevating the process of Web data mining. The technology will be broader than search, combing algorithms from the Clever project with other data-mining algorithms with an emphasis on massive scalability, said Anant Jhingran, director of computer science at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.

Ineffective search tools are a source of lost productivity, said Hadley Reynolds, director of research at Delphi Group in Boston. "The fundamental collapse of Web search is that users approach the search box looking for answers, but they get back overwhelming lists of documents," he said.


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• Ask Jeeves

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