Wolfram|Alpha – a novel way of searching

Wolfram|Alpha – a novel way of searching
25th December 2008 No Comments Uncategorised admin


Wolfram|Alfa is a novel & innovative approach to search, and is self-described as a computational engine. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine would.The Wolfram|Alfa and Google search, as they both work very differently, and are made for different purposes. Google is a search engine, that indexes the web, and brings up web pages relevant to the search string.Google uses the page Ranking algorithm in which a weightage is assigned to each page according to the relevance with the query. Wolfram|Alfa indexes a large number of facts and algorithms, then calculates or sums up this information in relation to the search string, and other parameters, including the time of the day, the day of the year, and the location of the searcher.


For eg. If I type “India” in google.It would get all the pages which contain India as a text or as a part of url.The geographic location of the user is taken into account while returning results.Also the site rank is taken into account when returning results.(Most of the times wikipedia is returned as It has been ranked 7.)Google takes up “India” as a word but not a country.So it returns a large no. Of results.Some relevant,some not.


When we type “India”,the search engine should be intelligent enough to know that India generally is used as a name of a country.It should in more ideal case return a page describing India.Details like:Capital,Area,Demographics,States, etc. Can be shown.When we enter “2nd October” it should directly interpret as date and display results accordingly.”Blue” should be treated as a colour.Although additional options should be given to treat “Blue” as a word too.Albert Eistein should be treated as a name and by hitting enter we should get a general description of Eistein straightaway without rummanging through lots of web pages.Although,user should be allowed to rummage web page if he likes,thus giving him wider options.


Wolfram|alpha is an attempt towards this direction.The information it provides currently is too less for it be called a proper search engine.Definitely Google is a better alternative.Wolfram|alpha is in nacent stage and lots needs to be done before it is widely accepted as a search engine. Wolfram|Alfa can be of immense use, but there is simply not enough data quantified and curated. Since it is an engine throws up quantifiable data, we envision Wolfram|Alfa to one day come up with concrete answers to “What was the carbon footprint of producing Captain Planet?”




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