Magazine article Information Today

Vivisimo Clustering to Enhance Searching at Institute of Physics Publishing Site. (News Break)

Magazine article Information Today

Vivisimo Clustering to Enhance Searching at Institute of Physics Publishing Site. (News Break)

Article excerpt

The Institute of Physics Publishing (IOPP; http://www.iop.org), a U.K.-based scholarly society publisher with a record of innovation in electronic publishing, has selected Vivisimo (http://vivisimo.com), a Pittsburgh-based advanced search engine company, to enhance its Electronic Journals service. Vivisimo runs a highly acclaimed Web metasearch engine, but it also markets its software to publishers and other data-hungry environments.

According to Lloyd Fletcher, manager of enterprise application development at IOPP, the particular aspect of Vivisimo's technology that attracted IOPP was its search results clustering. He said: "Search results clustering is the way of the future for information retrieval, and Vivisimo is a huge leap forward in that direction. By experimenting with Vivisimo's approach, we aim to demonstrate how clustering can add tremendous value for the tens of thousands of physicists who use our online journals." IOPP plans to make the enhanced access available for searching to both subscribers and nonsubscribers of its Electronic Journals (http://www.iop.org/EJ) service. Searchers will receive results with clusters organized into key terms.

Raul Valdes-Perez, president and co-founder of Vivisimo, said: "Users who search for scientific information ignore most of what they find because of the sheer tedium of plodding through search results that are displayed one-dimensionally. The Vivisimo Clustering Engine will allow physicists to see much further into the physics literature, just as telescopes allowed astronomers to see farther in the heavens. I predict that, just as with the invention of telescopes, users will more easily discover knowledge they didn't even know existed."

Vivisimo receives high praise from leading critics in the search engine field. Gary Price, co-author of The Invisible Web and Webmastery columnist for Searcher magazine, is a "big fan" and "uses it all the time" in its metasearch Web search engine version. He particularly finds the clustering useful. He said: "Unlike Northern Light folders, which are pre-mapped to a fixed taxonomy structured by librarians, Vivisimo creates its clusters on the fly using terms taken from the brief descriptions or snippets in the search results."

Because IOPP deals with a highly focused subject area and a field that has an elaborate jargon of its own, Vivisimo will face different challenges in handling the company's publications than it would with broad Web metasearch issues. …

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