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Of Ants, Dolphins, And Search Technology

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Research groups mimic the behavior of animals to make their search technology more efficient.

Cambridge-based search technology group Autonomy is “thinking beyond the spider”, with it’s newly developed tools that mimic the behavior of army ants.

“Nowadays, workers performing electronic searches want access to more of the data available to their companies – and better technologies for delivering it,” said Whit Andrews, vice president of research at Gartner, who originally promoted the idea of new ways to find information.

Search engines typically use “spiders”, which are used as a means of providing up-to-date data. Spiders are mainly used to create a copy of all the visited pages for later processing by a search engine, which index downloaded pages to provide fast searches.

Also, spiders cannot index unlinked files, meaning that they will ignore all the miscellaneous files in a web server’s directory.

Autonomy’s new Intelligent Data Operating Layer, or IDOL, alerts are delivered whenever information sources change, providing the most accurate and recently updated data.

The new IDOL software mimics the behavior of ants by leaving a trail of information, allowing future searches to find the most recent and relevant results, said Autonomy’s Chief marketing officer Nicole Egen.

Egen also stated that, “We hope that our combination of spider and ant technology will bring together the efficiency of spiders with the ant’s capacity to bring back fresh data.”

While the idea of mimicking animal behavior to better search software seems innovative, DolphinSearch spent the past 15 years developing their technology.

Using the knowledge gained from research with dolphins and their uncanny ability to locate and recognize objects, “DolphinSearch set the standard for accuracy in electronic document discovery,” according to representatives of the site. The result was a collaborative effort among a group of legal, compliance, and audit professionals and experts.

“The patented technology uses artificial intelligence to search for context and meaning, much like a human,” said DolphinSearch CEO Andrew Kraftsow.

By mimicking the behavior and instincts of animals, the aforementioned companies have created innovative ways to further search information and technology.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.

Of Ants, Dolphins, And Search Technology
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