Search-Based Applications

Search-Based Applications
At the Confluence of Search and Database Technologies

Gregory Grefenstette, Laura Wilber
ISBN: 9781608455072 | PDF ISBN: 9781608455089
Copyright © 2010 | 141 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2010

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We are poised at a major turning point in the history of information management via computers. Recent evolutions in computing, communications, and commerce are fundamentally reshaping the ways in which we humans interact with information, and generating enormous volumes of electronic data along the way. As a result of these forces, what will data management technologies, and their supporting software and system architectures, look like in ten years? It is difficult to say, but we can see the future taking shape now in a new generation of information access platforms that combine strategies and structures of two familiar -- and previously quite distinct -- technologies, search engines and databases, and in a new model for software applications, the Search-Based Application (SBA), which offers a pragmatic way to solve both well-known and emerging information management challenges as of now. Search engines are the world's most familiar and widely deployed information access tool, used by hundreds of millions of people every day to locate information on the Web, but few are aware they can now also be used to provide precise, multidimensional information access and analysis that is hard to distinguish from current database applications, yet endowed with the usability and massive scalability of Web search. In this book, we hope to introduce Search Based Applications to a wider audience, using real case studies to show how this flexible technology can be used to intelligently aggregate large volumes of unstructured data (like Web pages) and structured data (like database content), and to make that data available in a highly contextual, quasi real-time manner to a wide base of users for a varied range of purposes. We also hope to shed light on the general convergences underway in search and database disciplines, convergences that make SBAs possible, and which serve as harbingers of information management paradigms and technologies to come.

Table of Contents

Search Based Applications
Evolving Business Information Access Needs
Origins and Histories
Data Models and Storage
Data Collection/Population
Data Processing
Data Retrieval
Data Security, Usability, Performance, Cost
Summary Evolutions and Convergences
SBA Platforms
SBA Uses and Preconditions
Anatomy of a Search Based Application
Case Study: GEFCO
Case Study: Urbanizer
Case Study: National Postal Agency
Future Directions

About the Author(s)

Gregory Grefenstette, Exalead, S.A.
Gregory Grefenstette is Chief Science Officer at Exalead. He received his B.S. from Stanford University in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993. He has been Principal Scientist at the Xerox Research Centre (1993-2001), with Clairvoyance (2001-3) and at the French applied research centre, the CEA (2001-8). His research interests range from most subjects in Natural Language Processing to all aspects of Information Retrieval. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Natural Language Engineering, and he edited the first book on Cross Language Information Retrieval (Kluwer 1998).

Laura Wilber, Exalead, S.A.
Laura Wilber has served as the CEO of a web development company specializing in online databases and as the VP of Marketing for a provider of SaaS software. She has also developed multimedia technology tutorials for intellectual property litigation, and worked in the federal systems engineering division of a telecommunications company. She earned her M.A. in English from the University of Maryland, where she studied medieval literature and linguistics in the PhD program. She now works as a writer and analyst at Exalead, S.A. Prior to joining Exalead, she taught business and technology courses at ISG (l'Institut Superieur de Gestion). She lives in Paris with her husband, Joe Ross, and their children, Julien and Juliette.

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