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38 InformationToday June 2010 www.infotoday.com Database Review hakia Gets Serious With Semantic Search by MICK O’LEARY | I ’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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