Cuil Founder Lands Another Google Invention

April 22, 2010

I have been reluctant to beat up on the alleged weaknesses of the system for one good reason. Dr. Anna Patterson is a very sharp computer scientist. She developed a quite ingenious system called Xift which she sold to the crowd. After more engineering and family work, she joined Google and invented some fascinating technology which I discuss in Google Version 2.0. Even though she and her equally smart companion founded, the Patterson impact on Google continues. One example is the April 20, 2010 patent granted for her invention “Information Retrieval System for Archiving Multiple Document Versions.” You can read in my studies The Google Legacy and Google Version 2.0 about the importance of this technique to some Google “time” centric processes. A moment’s reflection will reveal that this ability to traverse deltas has some interesting applications. There are other benefits as well, but the invention is meritorious in my opinion and worth reading in US 7,702,618. Here’s the fine Google/lawyer explanation in the patent’s abstract:

An information retrieval system uses phrases to index, retrieve, organize and describe documents. Phrases are identified that predict the presence of other phrases in documents. Documents are the indexed according to their included phrases. Index data for multiple versions or instances of documents is also maintained. Each document instance is associated with a date range and relevance data derived from the document for the date range.

Dr. Patterson has tallied more than a half dozen inventions for the Google. I pay attention to her work and I discount much of the criticism aimed at her most recent activities. In my experience, the systems reveal significant insights into the trajectory of search. Care to disagree? Just bring some facts and your list of inventions and your record of innovation in search. Dr. Patterson may find the dust up amusing. I will.

Stephen E Arnold, April 22, 2010

Unsponsored post. Dr. Patterson let me pet one of her dogs once. Does that count as a payoff?


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