Google's Synonym Patent

4 comments
Source Title:
Google Patents Method to Determine Equivalent Descriptions Based on Information Needs of Searcher
Story Text:

One for the Search geeks here: Google have been awarded a patent that describes Methods and apparatus for determining equivalent descriptions for an information need - Essentially, matching synonyms to work out what the hell the dumb user wants heh..

Here's the important bit, thanks to Gary

For example, the user may have an information need that can be described in multiple ways, but the user may only be aware of a limited way of describing that information need. In such a case, the user may obtain only a subset of the desired information. It would be helpful, therefore, to have methods and apparatus for determining equivalent ways of describing an information need.

and here's the abstract

Methods and apparatus determine equivalent descriptions for an information need. In one implementation, if adjacent entries in a query log contain common terms, the uncommon terms are identified as a candidate pair. The candidate pairs are assigned a score based on their frequency of occurrence, and pairs having a score exceeding a defined threshold are determined to be synonyms.

Correct me if my assumption in the first paragraph is wrong, you guys know this stuff does my head in...

Comments

This one is good

It goes some way towards confirming some of the guesses we have made based on their general historical data patent. It also implies that it will become increasingly difficult to game the search expressions with anchor text, since user patterns change over periods of time.

game on!

First my reaction to the patent being issued: WTF!

now,

pairs having a score exceeding a defined threshold are determined to be synonyms.

The new game is going to be causing artificial synonym pairs to be created.

Hmm, must go file a patent application for

A Method and Apparatus for Gaming Search Engines

synonyms shynonyms

>>The new game is going to be causing artificial synonym pairs to be created.

If you ever played with Google idea of synonyms before you'll be wondering if they've been running this for years. Well, st least since October last year when

Quote:
Ski returns, skiing, water and snow
Casino returns games, but also Hotel and Resort
puppy returns puppies, puppies for sale and breeders but not dog
kitten however returns kitty and cat but nothing about kittens for sale, while cat returns animal and pet but not kitten (at least it doesn't bold it) - which is a bit strange and more than a little inconsistant don't you think?

It makes sense to associate them but they sure aren't synonyms

heh heh

The new game is going to be causing artificial synonym pairs to be created.

Yes. Seems good at first, bad later. Can't say more - sorry!

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