Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Search Engine, Language Simplifies Web Surfing

Date:
November 20, 1997
Source:
American Society For Technion, Israel Institute Of Technology
Summary:
After years of struggling with often frustrating and time-consuming searches on the World Wide Web, users will soon be able to get much more accurate results using a new search engine developed in Israel.

NEW YORK, N.Y. and HAIFA, ISRAEL, November 14, 1997 -- After years of struggling with often frustrating and time-consuming searches on the World Wide Web, users will soon be able to get much more accurate results using a new search engine developed in Israel.

Called W3QS, the search engine actually looks for structures or relationships within the content of documents, rather than just searching for key words. That means that instead of generating a multitude of irrelevant sites, as often happens in conventional search engines like Infoseek, Lycos and Excite!, a W3QS query can yield very specific results.

"The current search engines are limited because the structural information, namely the organization of the document into parts pointing to each other, is usually lost," explains Dr. Oded Shmueli from the Computer Science Faculty of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who developed the new search engine with David Konopnicki, a graduate student.

Most search services today use "robots," or programs that scan the network periodically and form text-based indices, but "those searches are limited by the kind of textual analysis provided by the search service, and the depth of site exploration," Dr. Shmueli says. "In particular, robots do not fill forms themselves, as the number of possibilities is enormous, so they miss interesting avenues that humans might follow."

W3QS, by contrast, can look for complex content relationships, rather than just looking for words or groups of words. That can make for more accurate searches and less time wasted chasing down irrelevant leads. W3QS also searches a designated portion of the Web, in its most current configuration, rather than relying on text-indices that may be out-of-date.

Unlike the current search services, W3QS is capable of filling forms that are encountered as it navigates the WWW. Consider the following example: You're looking for the actual texts of scientific papers written by Drs. Smith and Jones, who work in the Computer Science Department at West University. With conventional searches, you might type in the key words "Smith," "Jones," "West" and "University."

A basic Infoseek or Alta Vista search could bring up hundreds of sites that contain those words. But the results could very likely include a document that discusses the Smith building at Jones University, on West Street, or Michael Jones's analysis of Jay Smith's university architecture in the West in the 1800s. And even if you could find authors Smith and Jones at West University, you might have trouble linking to their home pages, and there's no guarantee that all their papers are listed in their home pages.

If you were to use W3QS to look for those same papers, you could ask the search engine to first go to the Computer Science Department at West University, and then follow hypertext links, all the while looking for documents that contain "Smith "and "Jones" in some specified proximity, together with a link to a file containing the text of a scientific paper. W3QS would then fetch that actual file and store it on the server that runs W3QS, rather than making the user go to the specified Web page and extract the needed document. All the fetched documents can then be e-mailed to you.

To limit what could be searches ad infinitum, you can tell W3QS to follow links through only four documents, or six, or ten. Most search engines available today do not search a site to any depth. And because W3QS uses its own language -- W3QL -- users can create very rich queries and be sure that W3QS will do the querying precisely as specified. Current search services mostly offer ad-hoc ways of stating the conditions of a search, which leaves the results somewhat up to chance.

W3QS includes a number of other conveniences, including:

  • Easy-to-use interface that lets even novice, non-programmer searchers do sophisticated Web searches;
  • Automatic re-evaluation of queries at pre-determined time intervals to be sure users continually have up-to-date results;
  • Convenient interfacing to user-written programs, as well as to existing search engines, which allows users to do more sophisticated searches.
  • Easy accessibility -- W3QS is accessible through many Web browsers, for example Netscape Navigator;
  • Extendibility--users can make the language work with their own data analysis tools, e.g., by integrating a program that does image analysis. Thatfar expands the searching ability of W3QS;
  • Coordination with existing search engines -- W3QS queries can incorporate searches through Yahoo, Lycos, and other services.
The researchers, whose current work is supported by the Israel Ministry of Science and the Arts, are currently seeking partners for the further development and commercialization of this system. W3QS can be accessed at http://www.cs.technion.ac.il/~W3QS.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is the country's premier scientific and technological center for applied research and education. It commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in communications, electronics, coater-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine, among others. The majority of Israel's engineers are Technion graduates, as are most of the founders and managers of its high-tech industries. The university's 11,000 students and 700 faculty study and work in the Technion's 19 faculties and 30 research centers and institutes in Haifa.

The American Technion Society (ATS) is the university's support organization in the United States. Based in New York City, it is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel. The ATS has raised $632 million since its inception in 1940, half of that during the last six years. Technion societies are located in 24 countries around the world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society For Technion, Israel Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society For Technion, Israel Institute Of Technology. "New Search Engine, Language Simplifies Web Surfing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971120072045.htm>.
American Society For Technion, Israel Institute Of Technology. (1997, November 20). New Search Engine, Language Simplifies Web Surfing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971120072045.htm
American Society For Technion, Israel Institute Of Technology. "New Search Engine, Language Simplifies Web Surfing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/11/971120072045.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) LG announces a round-faced smartwatch, Samsung adds 3G connectivity to its latest wearable, and Apple will reportedly announce the iWatch on Sept. 9. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Google has been developing a drone delivery system of its own, and it hopes to revolutionize how people view possessions with it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins