The Time Has Come For Semantic Search

Image representing Powerset as depicted in Cru...
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Always looking for the next big thing, the Advocate’s ears prick up whenever the term “semantic search” is heard. Today I found this list of the top five semantic search engines at Pandia.com. As the reader may (or may not) know, what makes semantic search different from your garden-variety Google is organization of results by context rather then popularity. Further, semantic search will pull entries containing related words or content, even if they were not included in your query. In theory, semantic search should yield results that are more on the intended point. Great for those times when you don’t have a firm grasp on all of the pertinent lingo in your topic area.

Pandia tops it’s list with Hakia, an engine I have discussed in a prior post. It searches structured text and yields a very structured result. It will also pose related queries.

The next engine listed is Sensebot. Results are summarized in digest form, providing a good overview of a research topic.

The third engine is Powerset. Not a regular search engine, per se, it’s strength is in application to a smaller subset of data, like Wikipedia (Pandia’s example). If you want an improvement on a site’s native search function, Powerset seems a good choice.

DeepDyve is the fourth option listed. It offers a access to that elusive “deep web” not indexed by the Googles of the world. Usually only accessible via Boolean search techniques, DeepDyve offers a natural language interface.

The final engine is called Cognition, an engine built on a semantic map developed over a span of 24 years. It searches Public.resource.org (federal caselaw), MEDLINE (medical abstracts), English Wikipedia, and a New English Translation of the New Testament.

Pandia’s article provides a handy overview of these engines. I look forward to giving them a whirl, particularly DeepDyve. Any question that semantic search is the future? The three links at the bottom of Pandia’s article indicate that Microsoft has bought Powerset to get it foot in the door, Google is planning to push semantic search in 2009 and Ask.com is focusing on semantic search.

My apologies to Studio readers about the lack of links and abundance of typos. I am posting from my iPhone’s torturous touch keyboard. I couldn’t wait to bring you the semantic good news!!!

UPDATE! I have been itchy all day knowing that this post was missing that certain, special something (like EDITING). I have rectified the situation. I feel better now. You may go back to your regularly scheduled activities, as will I.

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