By Alex Zakharov
The major processing tools for Internet information are search engines (SE). Today's level of SE development does not allow using the collected informational potential of the Internet in full. As a direction of SE development, it is suggested to add the universal scheme of evolution (USE) approach to SE technology. It will allow for:
The approach «Search Engine + USE-USESoft» would provide better quality of information searching on the Internet.
Search engine, Internet, ranking, disadvantage, evolution, tag, latent links, trends of evolution, universal scheme of evolution (USE)
Acquaintance with the Internet, as a rule, begins from the search engine. Any information search is the process of revealing the specified subject, which satisfies certain conditions of the search (inquiry) to the type of information (the facts, the data, etc.). A classic example of the intuitive leap is Archimedes' bathtub realization that he could measure a metal's volume by the amount of water it displaced. "Eureka, I have found it!" That flash of inspiration is the final and fast moment in all processes. The first stage is preparation, when you search out any information that might be relevant.
Such creative flashes of insight may be the result of a deeper process, described by psychologist Howard Gruber as "a long pull punctuated by small insights that result in (and form) a constant shifting of frames of reference."1 Weeks or years of gradual work can culminate suddenly in an intense moment of realization.
The durations of the moment of solution appearance compared to the stage of information gathering are absolutely incomparable. The latter process is time consuming. Because of that, it is important to organize searching and processing information by the most advanced informational tool – the Internet. Therefore, the development (improvement) of the work of search engines is a priority.
The functioning of the majority of search engines can be described by four stages:
The third and fourth stages begin when the user addresses a search engine with an inquiry (with a set of keywords).
Such multi-parametric selection is called the ranking of search results. These ranking mechanisms distinguish search systems from one another. Each search system tries to position its specific mechanisms of information (documents) ranking to occupy the leading position in the search market.
Probably, it is not a mistaken suggestion that a significant part of Internet users are interested in history (changes through time, evolution) of things they "touch" at work or otherwise in their daily lives. This suggestion coordinates properly with the fact that articles in encyclopedias start with history sections. In scientific publications, the historical introduction is standard. This is unsurprising, because as French philosopher and Jesuit preist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin states in The Phenomenon of Man, "Evolution is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, as systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforth if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow."
Internet encyclopedias describe history (evolution), too. For example, Wikipedia articles, as a rule, include a history section.
As a rule, when looking for information from the Internet, the list of links concerning history (evolution) is provided in the first lines.
If someone inquires, for example, for "steam engine history," the list of references will be given out, but without order in the chronology or in the format of the facts' descriptions.
Practically any webpage describes the chronology of steam engine in its own specific manner and by means of its own specific set of facts. Figure 4 shows the three top-ranked results for "steam engine history."
From a developer's point of view: Douglas Merrill, a Google vice president of technology says, "We want(ed) to develop the search engine, which could provide:
Generally speaking, we want to create mix of UGC (user generated content), classification and tagging by community and Artificial Intelligence; it would help people work more effectively."
From a universal scheme of evolution point of view: The trends of engineering systems' evolution, which are well-known in TRIZ and in inventors' activities, could be used as a pattern for evolution description. Or more precisely, both trends and their structure, in the form of the USE and the computer program USESoft, which was developed on a USE basis.3
The directions of creation of search engine, which were emphasized by Google's Merill, correspond to the features of the USE-USESoft approach:
Actually, the USE-USESoft approach will be an addition for search engines, i.e., it will be the pattern (or form) for processing and providing information about the object. Before searching for a needed webpage that does not exist, it will be created "on the fly" in accordance with the user's request.
The following is a description for how a search engine may be organized in the future.
Open Google, which includes a new button, "Evolution of Object," and make a request. For example, if the user wishes to find information about a steam engine's history (evolution), then she can type "Steam Engine" into the search box and click the "Evolution of Object" button.
After clicking "Evolution of Object," the following would occur:
(The processing of Boxes 4 "Existing Steam Engine Development," 6 and 7 "Revealing of Steam Engine's Harmful Effects," and 8 "Quantitative and/or qualitative changes of elements and/or links inside Steam Engine" is not described.)
After all boxes are processed and information has been gathered throughout the cycle, Google provides the user information (data) about the steam engine evolution, according to the order of boxes in USE.
In such a form the user has a consistent description of the evolution of the steam engine. Check Box 1 – "first steam engine creation." At this time, the most adequate webpage returned will be a page on Wikipedia.
The list of webpages has changed from the first attempt, where the set of words "steam," "engine" and "history" were used for the search.
USE is a logical and strong structure; if the user did not get data corresponding to some USE box, the user will understand at once that some information is missing. This understanding will help to re-start the search of specific information in a well-known direction. This understanding is the guiding light for both cases:
Here the authors sees a strong analogy to the discovery of unknown chemical elements with the help of the periodic table – its empty cells (i.e., "informational holes") were signs that unknown elements ought to exist; furthermore – the neighboring cells suggested where these unknown elements could be found.
The suggested approach «Search Engine + USE-USESoft» (New SE) would provide new possibilities not only for information searching on the Internet, but also for the following:
As it was supposed before: "… dialog with USESoft (or Search Engine + USESoft) may be similar to a conversation with the specialist, the TRIZ expert or with an AI system."5 Remember that artificial intelligence was pointed out by Douglas Merrill as a characteristic of future search engines.
Alex Zakharov, a 4th level certified TRIZ Specialist, is both a researcher and developer. Mr. Zakharov has assisted with many innovative projects in different companies to include IMCorp. and Pragmatic Vision Int'l. His main area of interest is with the evolution of methods of systems' transformation: from trials-and-errors to non-algorithmic methods, and from TRIZ to artificial intelligence. Contact Alex Zakharov at TRIZ-Evolution (at) Comcast.net.