Keyword Search versus Concept Search

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Keyword Search versus Concept Search

Knowledge workers need to identify content in the context of what they are seeking. The fundamental problem with most enterprise search solutions, and all statistical search solutions, is that they are based on an index of single words. Yet most queries are expressed in short patterns of words and not single words in isolation which are highly ambiguous.

A concept search engine can isolate the key meaning that is normally expressed as proper nouns, nouns phrases and verb phrases. Although linguistic products can do this, their performance is highly variable depending upon the vocabulary and language in use. A statistical based language independent concept search can accept queries in natural language with the user typing words, phrases or whole sentences. The system then analyzes the natural language query to extract the keywords and phrases to identify the main concepts and retrieve content that is highly relevant.

Precision and recall are the two key performance measures for information retrieval. Precision is the retrieval of only those items that are relevant to the query. Recall is the retrieval of all items that are relevant to the query. Yet most information retrieval technologies are less than 22% accurate for both precision and recall. The ideal goal is to have them balanced. Our conceptSearch product uses our still unique Compound Term Processing has the ability to increase precision with no loss of recall.  It also works with any search engine to feed the compound terms to the search index.

Does precision and recall matter to your organization?

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