It's now eleven years since we started Flax (initially as Lemur Consulting Ltd) in late July 2001, deciding to specialise in search application development with a focus on open source software. At the time the fallout from the dotcom crash was still evident and like today the economic picture was far from rosy. Since few people even knew what a search engine was (Google was relatively new and had only started selling advertising a year...Continue reading
There's been a recent flurry of activity from search vendors (and those larger companies that have been buying them) around the theme of Big Data, which has become the fashionable marketing term for a sheaf of technologies including search, machine learning, Map Reduce and for scalability in general. If anyone impertinently asks why co...Continue reading
Amazon have just launched a cloud-based search service, which promises a 'fully managed search service in the cloud' - and it certainly looks impressive, with auto-scaling built in. You simply create a service, upload documents as JSON or XML and then perform searches. For cases where you need to search publically available data this offers a great way to avoid having to install and integrate an...Continue reading
Media monitoring is not a traditional search application: for a start, instead of searching a large number of documents with a single query, a media monitoring application must search every incoming news story with potentially thousands of queries, searching for words and terms relevant to client requirements. This can be difficult to scale, especially when accuracy must be maintained - a client won't be happy if their media monitors miss relevant stories or send them news that isn't relevant. ...Continue reading
#1 - How does it work?
You'll probably get as many different answers to this as there are vendors - but you may not get the whole truth. Bear in mind that a lot of search engines share what theoretical ideas they apply. An engine might use a vector-space or probabilistic models for ordering results, for example. Most will create an