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Semantic Search Engine Helps Scientists Do Productive Searches

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Scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville) have developed Noesis, a new semantic Web search engine that enables researchers to obtain more focused and productive results. Noesis performs searches based on a discipline-specific semantic ontology. For example, a search of Mobile Bay sea grass would return a list of additional terms that narrows the search based on taxonomy, location or water type, while filtering out Web sites offering sea grass mats, oils, and lotions. The terminology and the structure of relationships between terms in the ontology focuses the search on items related to the specific field of study, and datasets and scientific publications have been added to broaden Noesis' search.

The scientists have already created ontologies for meteorology or environmental science-related projects, but Noesis could be used to perform searches in other fields of research. "It can be configured to different domains for different projects," says Rahul Ramachandran, a researcher in UAHuntsville's Information Technology and Systems Center. "The hope for the future is there will be a growth of these small ontologies."

From The University of Alabama in Huntsville

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