[ba-unrev-talk] Fwd: The Teoma Search engine
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Global Brain Discussion)
>From: Francis Heylighen <email@example.com>
>Yet one more little step closer to the Global Brain: Teoma implements
>Kleinberg's HITS method, the counterpart to Google's PageRank, with pretty
>The following discussion comes from
>+ Teoma vs. Google, Round Two
>Search engine upstart Teoma has officially launched, and the media is once
>again touting it as a Google killer. Here's a look behind the hype, and
>the real reasons you'll want to add Teoma to your web search toolkit.
>Labeling Teoma a Google killer makes for a great headline, but is really
>rather silly. Teoma is a very good search engine, but at this point it
>poses very little threat to Google's dominance of the web search world.
>We'll save the face off comparison for later, after Teoma has had a chance
>to prove itself. Meanwhile, let's look at some of the nifty things that
>makes Teoma unique, and an excellent choice for many types of search queries.
>Teoma offers three kinds of results for each query. On the left of the
>result page are "relevant web pages" that are similar to what other
>engines produce. On the right are two other kinds of results: "Refine," a
>list of "suggestions to narrow your search," and "Resources," which are
>"link collections from experts and enthusiasts."
>Each set of results is useful, for different reasons. And all three types
>of results are generated using proprietary technology that makes them
>somewhat unique compared to other engines.
>Teoma's underlying technology is an extension of the HITS algorithm
>developed by researchers at IBM several years ago. In a nutshell, the
>search engine goes beyond traditional keyword and text analysis and seeks
>out "hubs" and "authorities" related to your query terms -- a "social
>network" of related content that forms a "community" about the topic.
>The cool thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is both
>query-specific, and happens in real time. "Whenever you type in a query,
>we're actually looking for the communities after you type the query," said
>Paul Gardi, Teoma's Vice President of Search. "We're using a method called
>dynamic rank, because there's a lot of information you can learn about
>that page by its friends."
>Teoma's approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but more
>static ranking system. It's also unlike the approach taken by Northern
>Light and other engines that classify web pages based on pre-defined
>"We're going into the communities, finding the link structure of the
>community using text structure as well," said Gardi.
>What does this mean in practice? How can this approach improve your search
>First of all, by relying on the "authorities" within a community, Teoma
>"relevant web pages" are generally quite useful, even for obscure topics.
>Second, "Resources" are often link-rich pages -- pathfinders or
>directories -- that are excellent starting points for further research on
>a particular topic.
>But it's the "refine" results that are perhaps Teoma's most unique
>feature. These links are automatically generated labels that "define" a
>community for the query words you're using.
>So even if your initial query doesn't provide spot-on results, the
>"refine" links allow you to "drill down" into a community, potentially
>revealing information you can't easily find with traditional approaches to
>"It's extremely valuable for the user to have something to refine. It's a
>very different kind of refine because it's actually pulling you down
>through the actual communities that exist," said Teoma's Gardi.
>"Communities are getting stronger or weaker based on how the web is growing."
>This dynamic approach to surfacing content means that Teoma can discover
>beginnings of a new community even for new or obscure pages. This makes it
>an excellent companion or alternative to other search engines, including
>Google, that tend to rely on lots of links pointing to pages to infer
>But Teoma is not a wholesale replacement for Google, nor is it an engine
>you'll want to use exclusively. Teoma's index of 200 million pages is tiny
>compared to most of the other major search engines. And the company
>doesn't intend to compete on size, but rather on providing "authoritative"
>results. "We're adding a little bit every day -- we're about halfway to
>getting to where we need to be," said Gardi.
>Think of Teoma as a new type of hybrid between a search engine and a
>directory, incorporating the best features of both. Like most search
>engines, Teoma's scope is large enough to satisfy even the most obscure
>information need, but without overwhelming you with millions of
>near-matches or false drops. And like a good directory, Teoma structures
>information in a way that facilitates browsing based on context and meaning.
>Bottom line: Teoma isn't a Google killer now, and likely never will be,
>but it's still an excellent search engine for many types of queries.
>Definitely worth adding to your web search toolkit.
>Ask Jeeves Acquires Teoma The Search Engine Report, Oct. 2, 2001
>http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/01/10-ask.html Ask Jeeves has
>purchased the Teoma search engine, which has attracted interest over
>recent months as a potential relevancy challenger to Google.
>Teoma Tackles the Web SearchDay, Jun. 11, 2001
>http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/01/sd0611-teoma.html Teoma is a new
>search engine born in the computer labs at Rutgers University that looks
>like a serious contender for joining the major leagues.
>How Teoma Works
>brief overview of the Teoma technology.
>Hypersearching the Web
>http://www.sciam.com/1999/0699issue/0699raghavan.html An excellent
>overview of the original HITS project and "social network" theory, and how
>it can improve the overall quality of web search results. (02)