Metasearch Engine Digs Deeper, Faster For News

CHICAGO, Ill.: Metasearch Engine Digs Deeper, Faster For News

The University of Illinois at Chicago issued the following news release:

Are you getting all the news you need from Internet search engines that you use to find the latest headlines?

Maybe not, said University of Illinois at Chicago computer science professor Clement Yu, who has devised software that finds a world of news stories that big search engines either overlook or do not deliver in a timely manner.

Yu is chief executive officer of Webscalers LLC, a company he helped found, which just released a metasearch engine it developed called Allinonenews (all-in-one-news).

The online tool directs user queries to some 1,800 news search engines based in about 200 countries and territories. Its website is www.allinonenews.com

“A metasearch engine’s results contain all the content of underlying search engines, giving it much greater coverage,” said Yu. “Ours is designed to connect automatically to each search engine and retrieve results in a uniform format.”

The UIC computer scientist began research on developing metasearch engines during the late 1990s, funded by grants from the National Science Foundation. While the concept of metasearch engines is not new, Allinonenews searches more news sites in a greater geographic area than any other.

The wide scope of its coverage allows it to find breaking news faster than some of the bigger, widely used search engines that visit news sites on a recurring basis. Allinonenews’ access to multiple news search engines dramatically improves its ability to find breaking news stories.

The metasearch engine is programmed to filter out exact duplicate results. Yu and his colleagues designed the software to automatically determine which search engines on its list are probably best to find answers, based on the question’s topic.

A planned feature for Allinonenews will be the ability to dig into the database of search engines polled to find information normally not sought by larger search engines, which look mainly for hyperlinked or “surface” pages on the Worldwide Web, rather than “deep web” pages.

Allinonenews also has the ability to do a semantic match of retrieved documents which, while not exactly matching words in a query, find those that are semantically close, Yu said.

“For example, if you query ‘skin cancer’ on Google, it will give you only links with the words ‘skin cancer.’ Our search retrieves documents on types of skin cancer, such as melanoma,” Yu said.

Yu says that metasearch engines have the advantage of needing only one or two personal computers to access other search engines. That’s a small fraction of the computer power used by regular search engines — so the cost of doing metasearches is relatively low.

While Yu hopes people from all walks of life will use Allinonenews, he thinks interest will be particularly keen among those working at government agencies, financial institutions and among journalists, where access to breaking news is critically important.

Allinonenews is largely designed to showcase Webscalers’ technology, showing how simultaneous connections to a huge number of search engines can be useful in getting information quickly.

For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.eduContact: Paul Francuch, 312/996-3457, francuch@uic.edu

TNS MD66-MD66-070823-1113181 18MASHMaria

Paul Francuch, 312/996-3457, francuch@uic.edu

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