Google Search: Looking for PHIL

March 6, 2018

If you want information about Google’s PHIL (Probabilistic Hierarchical Inferential Learner), you can get a decent run down by two Googlers, who revealed the system and method in 2003.

Here’s the link to Ruchira Datta’s presentation at Ohio State.

How important in the algorithm? Well, since it is at least 15 years old, it’s okay. But one of the most important algorithms at the GOOG? An SEO maven alleges that this single patent is more important than any other Google patent except PageRank. Well, PageRank is assigned to the Stanford University Board of something. In a sense, it is not Google’s anymore because PageRank was funded by US government money. (You know what that means, right?) You can chase down the patent application. Try this number: US Patent 20040068697.

Do you think it is number two on the Algorithm Hit Parade? Remember: I don’t. Why? That bound phrase method is not exactly spot on even though Google uses the jargon “dynamic compounding.” Hey, “bound phrase” works for me.

Stephen E Arnold, March 6, 2018


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