IBM Offering New Search Concept

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The technology firm plans to give away search solutions capable of sifting through concepts and facts in a corporate environment.

While the vast majority of the attention paid to search engines will focus on the Internet at the Search Engine Strategies conference, IBM plans to bring forth search technology that will let enterprise users find information based on ideas instead of keywords.

According to Reuters, IBM’s Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) can analyze text within documents and other media to understand latent meanings, relationships and facts. IBM will make UIMA available to software developers.

Factiva and several other companies will utilize UIMA to develop software products that can do text analysis and search. IBM also offers its WebSphere OmniFind product, which focuses on searching through all kinds of unstructured data, like email, images, and audio files.

Contextual search goes beyond the typical querying Internet users do on search engines. Products based on UIMA will attempt to find documents and files based not just on what users query, but what they might mean with that query. “I don’t see any of the major players moving into this area,” Arthur Ciccolo, head of search technology at IBM Research, said in the article.

In making the UIMA project freely available, IBM plans to start a project on SourceForge by the end of this year. Interested parties can obtain the framework from IBM’s AlphaWorks web site.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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