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									38      InformationToday
June 2010   www.infotoday.com

             Database Review

       hakia Gets
       Serious With
       Semantic Search
       by MICK O’LEARY    |

             ’ve had a casual interest in the mysterious world of semantic search for
             a long time. Semantic search engines follow a completely different prin-
             ciple than Google and its followers. Whereas Google’s basic method is
       to measure a site’s popularity and importance by the number of links to the
                                                                                        Spring Design Ships Alex eReader
       site, semantic search engines analyze the language of a search query in the          Spring Design is shipping
       context of an entire document. The intent is to attain greater relevance by      the dual-screen Alex eReader,
       associating the query with related language, or “meaning,” in the document.      an ebook platform that sup-
           hakia is a leading and much talked about semantic search engine. A hakia     ports ebooks as well as PDF
       search analyzes language but not with old-fashioned methods such as term         files, HTML, Wi-Fi connec-
       counting and matching. Instead, hakia analyzes a document by extracting          tivity with support for web
       terms and term sequences that represent its meaning. These are associated        browsing and email, and other
       with synonymous language so that a hakia record represents the content of        multimedia applications. The
       a document beyond its literal language. These prepared analytics are             device, which weighs 11 oz.,
       matched with query terms, which (presumably) lets hakia achieve greater          is based on Google’s Android
       relevance than would be possible by simple, term-for-term matching. A full       platform. Spring also plans
       explanation is available on hakia’s site.                                        to announce multilanguage
           Founded in 2004 with venture capital support, hakia recently graduated       versions of Alex, including
       from beta and became a full-fledged search engine with expanded capabil-         Chinese, Russian, Korean,
       ities. Does this mean that the shadowy realm of semantic search is ready         and Hebrew.
       for prime time? Is hakia a Google killer? Let the tests begin.                       Spring also reported that Grammata, a Spanish company specializing in the de-
                                                                                        sign, content, and sale of e-readers, will partner with Spring to open an ebookstore
                                                                                        and sell the Alex eReader in Spain online and in retail stores this summer.
       hakia Search Basics                                                                  Source: Spring Design, Inc. (www.springdesign.com)
           hakia’s general release expanded the site’s ability to search web content.
       The service returns 10 individual sets of search results: open web, galleries
       (subject categorized results), credible sources, PubMed, news, blogs, Twit-      Wall Street Journal Professional
       ter, Wikipedia, images, and videos. The different search results are displayed
       individually in 10 separate windows. The open web search returns a maxi-
                                                                                        Edition Launches for Consumers
       mum of about 50 hits, while the other types return a maximum of 10. Not             Dow Jones & Co. has released the consumer version of The Wall Street Journal
       all of these searches are done for each query since hakia can “sense” when       Professional Edition. The product combines the news coverage and analysis of
       a certain type of search doesn’t apply well to a particular query. Text docu-                                                           The Wall Street Journal with
       ment hits are displayed as a page summary; image and video hits are dis-                                                                the global business and news
       played as thumbnails.                                                                                                                   sources of Dow Jones Factiva
                                                                                                                                               and Dow Jones Newswires.
                                                                                                                                               The service provides business
                                                                                                                                               and professional readers with
                                                                                                                                               specialized news and informa-
                                                                                                                                               tion about various industries
                                                                                                                                               and topics.
                                                                                                                                                  Users can also personalize
                                                                                                                                               the service to suit their indi-
                                                                                                                                               vidual needs. Editors moni-
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