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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ugenie: An Algorithmic Approach to Comparison Shopping

You might have thought that there was a limit to the number of comparison shopping sites that could possibly survive, but there always seems to be another one around the corner. Fortunately, Ugenie is actually a rather unique entry to the shopping comparison market. Founded by two ex-Amazon.com employees, Ugenie cherry-picks the best deals from 35 online merchants to create the lowest priced bundle of items that you're looking for. You can enter up to 15 items per bundle, which you might have realized means that there are 35^15 possible combinations to search through. Not an easy computational task, which means Ugenie must have some fancy algorithms backing up its claims.

Once the search is completed, you can see the total price for your bundle inclusive of taxes, shipping, and coupons. Then to actually buy the items, you have to go to each merchant's site to complete the checkout process.



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