Google Patents Method to Determine Equivalent Descriptions Based on Information Needs of Searcher
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...