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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Search for Meaning with Hakia

Hakia is another contender in the race to perfect natural language search. You can enter sentences, phrases, or keywords, and Hakia will do its best to bring up meaningful results. Something called SemanticRank is used in conjunction with more detailed index tables to make the magic happen.

Search results highlight relevant sections, and curiously, also display a relevant news article in the middle of the results list. For broad topics, results are presented in categories. For the privacy conscious, they also claim not to use any tracking mechanisms like cookies. Google has been criticized for putting cookies that expire in 2038 on users' computers.By this point, I'm sure most readers have perfected the art of searching with keywords, and searching with sentences may seem agonizingly slow and even unnatural in comparison. Still, Hakia's pitch isn't limited to parsing user queries, but also "understanding" what the words on a page mean so, theoretically, using keywords to search should still garner superior results. It'll be interested to see what they come up with when they launch in 2007.


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