Web’s “Best Meta-Search Engine” Organizes Documents from Anywhere in Any Language

Web’s “Best Meta-Search Engine” Organizes Documents from Anywhere in Any Language

Dave Hart

Industry experts at Search Engine Watch recently named Vivísimo the Web’s Best Meta-Search Engine for its ability to instantly organize search results into a computer-generated “index.” The software behind Vivísimo’s search engine can also be applied to any collection of documents, in languages ranging from English and German to Arabic and Korean.

A success story from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research and computer science programs, Vivísimo’s Web site was recognized for the second consecutive year for its, “outstanding performance in helping Internet users gather results from many Web search engines by using a single service.”

The Vivísimo Web site demonstrates how the technology filters and automatically categorizes responses from search requests. The results resemble a human-generated index that can help guide searchers in the right direction.

“The clustering service on our Web site and the underlying software technology show how users can comfortably explore much more information in an organized way, rather than being bombarded with disorganized information dumps,” said Raul Valdes-Perez, president of Vivísimo, Inc. “Our Web site shows our business customers whether Web, government, corporate, or publishing what they can expect by installing our software products for their own uses.”

Getting answers to broad, exploratory questions can leave searchers, especially those with little knowledge about a topic, slogging through a morass of information. For example, searching for “Iraq” among the news stories on any Web news source will result in a long list of articles on global politics. Searching the entire Web can produce a similar, mostly undifferentiated list of sites about Iraq.

This is where Vivísimo steps in. Its Clustering Engine does a quick statistical, linguistic, and knowledge-based analysis of the search results which it then clusters into themes, thereby helping to identify trends or fine-tune searches without requiring users to know the correct terminology. For example, using Vivsimo to search news sites for “Iraq” might produce clusters of news articles under categories such as “weapons inspectors,” “Bush,” “missiles,” and so on. (The categories will change depending on the latest developments in the news.)

Vivísimo is supported by NSF’s SBIR program, which emphasizes high-risk, high-payback innovations that are tied to NSF’s mission of advancements in science, engineering and education. All proposals are evaluated on the technical merit of their research and development, as well as their technology impact. NSF was the first of 10 federal agencies required to reserve a portion of their research and development funds for the SBIR program, which is coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration.