Discovering Discovery

October 11th, 2007

Here’s a quick 1, 2, 3 to help you get the most out of our Discovery Engine for Search™.

Step 1: Enter you query on our website or, if you like, download our add-on and then go to your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo! or Bing), just like you always do, and enter your keywords.

Our example will use a search for the term “dolphins” since it is often used to illustrate one of the classic problems with information retrieval. No matter how much information is gathered about the subject, the individual, or all the individuals who have ever searched for “dolphins”, it is impossible to know a priori whether or not the searcher’s intent is related to the animal or to the football team. While search engines may suggest alternate queries or reformulations through the use of keyword suggestions or clusters, the search results produced will always be a mix of the animal and the football team.

Football and animal mixed together on results page

Step 2: Review the results and select the one that corresponds to your interests. If it’s the Miami Dolphins that you like, click #2: If your search is satisfied, great! If not, return to the search results and we will provide you with some “Recommendations”. You may, if you like, also get the “instant” Recommendations by simply clicking the bull’s eye next to the particular link of your choice.

Recommended search results for

Recommendations are dug out of the search results based on the Discovery Engine’s inference of our real-time intent. Put another way, we figure out what you want and then goes past the first page of the results and fetches it for you.

Step 3: The process is cumulative, so continue clicking on links and bull’s eyes that are of interest to you. The longer you work on the result set, the better we understand your intent and the more accurate are the Recommendations. The Recommendations can nest to three levels, enabling you to “drill down” on not just your high-level intent, but your sub-intents as well, such as “Miami Dolphins news.”

Second level of Recommendations for Miami Dolphins news

Click on “More Results” and you’ll get a second page of results automatically customized to your intent. In this case, they are naturally all related to the Miami Dolphins football team and are geared towards news.

Subsequent pages of results are customized in real-time

Keep going and we will keep working to help you find what you need.

That’s Discovery!

Lastly, don’t worry about ‘mistakes’: clicking the links that are perhaps not of interest. We are smart enough to handle it.

Tags: Discovery Recommendations Tutorials