[LINK] TEOMA - an alternative to GOOGLE

Tim O'Leary oleary at alphalink.com.au
Wed May 28 06:49:13 EST 2003

 From the ASK JEEVES people:


Search Engines know that users rarely go beyond the first three items in 
the  results page. The relevancy of the returns begins to fall off very 
fast after the third item (50% is the cutoff line.) So they are trying to 
improve the relevancy.

Teoma has a different approach from Google.

Google's problem is that if you search for, say, hammer, you'll get three 
million hits. The word "hammer" is not placed in a context. MC  Hammer, 
household hammer, snowboard hammer, etc, all are equivalent.

Teoma considers the web (some three billion pages are indexed)(out of some 
five billion pages) to be in clusters of information. One cluster is 
whatever has to do with philosophy, another cluster is Colin Powell, 
another cluster is cats, and so on. When you search for something, it shows 
you several clusters so you can then click on a group and then see only 
pages within that cluster.

Another remarkable thing about Teoma: it holds the entire web in RAM. 
Memory is extremely cheap now and it works in nanoseconds (billionth of a 
second) instead of harddisk speeds, which operate in milliseconds 
(thousandth of a second.) RAM-based memory is a million times faster than 
hard disk memory. So when you do a search on Teoma, it searches the entire 
web and structures it into a new set of clusters for every single search. 
It's not a static collection of clusters.

Google is very anxious about Teoma. Google has invested heavily into 
hardware; they have over 54,000 servers (they add something
like 30-50 per day). At the moment, Google rules the search market; they 
handle 75% of all searches. But a better idea (namely, a search engine that 
delivers better results in the first three items) can turn those 54,000 
servers into boat anchors.

oleary at strategos.com.au

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