Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coining Phrases - Reverse Auto-Classification

Recently, I have been talking with some software folks who have created parsers for auto-classification. These engines will take a text or website, scan the contents and see how it matches to a given taxonomy. These parsers use a variety of techniques including statistics, semantics, word location to see how a given document matches a taxonomy. These are very impressive, and I hope to use one of these for our taxonomy to classify our content. One of the unique traits of our taxonomy is that is multidimensional, and we use those dimensions to show the different ways that businesses operate in our economy. We have been able to leverage this to find buyers, sellers and comparables for Mergers and Acquisitions. One of the problems with this approach is that users who are searching our database need to have a fairly in depth knowledge of the taxonomy in order to find what they need. To solve this problem, we decided we needed to create meta-terms or coined phrases that would represent different search criteria to apply to our taxonomy. Instead of, going from text to taxonomy we are going from taxonomy to text. We also use all the synonyms for all the nodes in our taxonomy. So instead of having users select their criteria from a series of drop-down boxes, they can type in a Google-like text box and the software will auto-fill matches against the table of coined phrases generated from our taxonomy.

I have a live sample on our MandAsoft site here: A good example is accountant software which is a coined phrase that will search for software for accountants. Here are the results for that search
Tell me what you think.