ARLINGTON - Two UT Arlington computer science engineering faculty are
developing a new Internet search engine that treats the Web more like a massive
Chengkai Li and Gautam Das, both Department
of Computer Science and Engineering faculty, have won a three-year,
$499,713 National Science Foundation grant to develop a new search engine that uses
simple queries to address complex information needs. Their system allows
searches involving multiple entities and assesses how entities are related.
“The beauty of this is that you can combine the simplicity
of keyword search and the expressiveness of database query to find fascinating
entities,” Li said.
With existing search engines, a person looking for
information about businesses started by UT Arlington graduates would have to
break down their task into several separate searches, read many result pages
and manually synthesize the information, Li said.
“Our system would allow us to simply write a database-style
query that specifies what to do instead of the grueling details of how to do
it,” Li said. “The system automatically processes the query and obtains
answers, saving us from the painful steps of searching, reading, and
Das said the search engine would be able to look at entity
types such as UT Arlington graduates and startup businesses and relate them to
The goal of the project is to make queries more successful
and accessible to common users, Li said.
“You shouldn’t have to be able to know some computer
language to perform a comprehensive, but pointed search that yields results you
can use,” Li said.
See the project web page at idir.uta.edu/erq
for a demonstration.
The work by Li and Das is representative
of the research under way at The University of Texas at Arlington, a
comprehensive undergraduate and graduate institution of nearly 33,000 students
in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.