The Vivisimo Web site demonstrates how the technology filters and automatically categorizes responses from search requests. The results resemble a human-generated index that can help guide researchers in the right direction.

“The clustering service on our Web site and underlying software technology show how users can comfortably explore much more information in an organized way, rather than being bombarded with disorganized information dumps,” said Raul Valdes-Perez, president of Vivisimo, Inc. “Our Web site shows our business customers—whether Web, government, corporate, or publishing—what they can expect by installing our software products for their uses.”

Getting answers to broad, exploratory questions can leave searchers, especially those with little knowledge about a topic, slogging through a morass of information. For example, searching for “Iraq” among the news stories on any Web news source will result in a long list of articles on global politics. Searching the entire Web can produce a similar, mostly undifferentiated list of sites about Iraq.

This is where Vivisimo steps in. Its Clustering Engine does a quick statistical, linguistic, and knowledge-based analysis of the search results which it then clusters into themes, thereby helping to identify trends or fine-tune searches without requiring users to know the correct terminology. For example, using Vivisimo to search news sites for “Iraq” might produce clusters of news articles under categories such as “weapons Inspectors,” “Bush,” “missiles,” and so on. (The categories will change depending on the latest developments in the news.)

Vivisimo is supported by NSF’s SBIR program, which emphasizes high-risk, high-payback innovations that are tied to NSF’s mission of advancements in science, engineering, and education. All proposals are evaluated on the technical merit of their research and development, as well as their technology impact. NSF was the first of 10 federal agencies required to reserve a portion of their research and development funds for the SBIR program, which is coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration.


Related Links: Vivisimo: <http://www.vivisimo.com>, Vivisimo News demo: <http://vivisimo.com/news/>, NSF SBIR Program: <http://www.eng.nsf.gov/sbir>.


NSF Program Officers: Juan E. Figueroa, SBIR (703) 555-1212, jfiguero@nsf.gov, Ephraim P. Glinert, CISE (703) 555-1212, eglinert@nsf.gov, Principal Investigator: Raul Valdes-Perez, valdes@vivisimo.com, 412-422-2496



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