Ending The Tyranny of the Search Box
Speaker: Fritz Knabe , EndecaContact:
Date: March 17 2006
Time: 1:30PM to 2:30PM
Location: Patil Seminar Room (32-G449)
Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL
Rob Miller, x4-6028, email@example.comRelevant URL:
The dramatic success of search in the last ten years has transformed information retrieval from a dusty concern of library science into a make-or-break capability for tens of thousands of businesses. Even so, commercial IR systems today largely follow the paradigm established by Salton in the '60s, with an emphasis on improving classification, indexing, and relevance. While serviceable, this approach falls short of what can be achieved. People are far more flexible and inventive in pursuing their information-seeking goals than the simple search box will allow---a principle that, starting in the '80s, led Belkin and others to focus instead on interaction and its potential to improve the user's information retrieval experience.
For the past six years at Endeca, this principle has guided our research on interactive exploration of structured and unstructured data collections. Leveraging the growth in main memory available on commodity servers, we have been able to develop contextual, data-driven analysis that gives the user a "dialog with the data." Our commercial implementation is now in use in hundreds of applications, with end users ranging from consumers to procurement engineers to financial analysts.
In this talk, I will expand on our user-oriented approach to information retrieval and its validation in a variety of enterprise settings. I will also discuss system concerns of scale, performance, reliability, and manageability, and how we have engineered our engine to meet these needs in mission-critical enterprise settings.
Speaker Bio: Fritz Knabe is Director of Research at Endeca. Since joining the company's founding team in 1999, his work has focused on the development of Endeca's core technology for information retrieval and interactive data analysis. He was previously at the University of Virginia, where he performed research on grid computing and wide-area distributed systems security in the Legion project. He has also worked at the European Computer-Industry Research Centre in Munich on mobile agent and distributed programming extensions to Standard ML (the Facile project), and was an assistant professor at the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. Fritz received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995 and his A.B. in computer science from Princeton University in 1988.
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