January 18, 2022

Asking Complex Questions: "New Search Tool to Unlock Wikipedia"

A new plug-in for use with Wikipedia data named “Swipe” will be demonstrated at the WWW conference next month. Until then, here’s some reading and viewing material about the technology.

You have to wonder if Wolfram|Alpha is working on something similar utilizing their database?

From New Scientist:

Called Swipe – loosely short for “searching Wikipedia by example” – the software aims to let users of the online encyclopedia answer complex questions that most search engines would stumble over. For example, trying to figure out “which actresses won academy awards when they were under 30 years old in the last 25 years?” becomes relatively simple when using the program.

To use Swipe, questions are not typed out in the form of the natural language above, but Swipe is nevertheless designed for everyday users: no knowledge of arcane database query languages is necessary, say the developers, Maurizio Atzori at the University of Cagliari, Sardinia, and Carlo Zaniolo at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Read the Complete New Scientist Article

Here’s the Paper that Will Be Presented at the WWW Conference: “Swipe: Searching Wikipedia By Example” (8 pages; PDF)

From the Abstract:

A novel method is demonstrated that allows semantic and well-structured knowledge bases (such as DBpedia) to be easily queried directly from Wikipedia’s pages. Using Swipe, naive users with no knowledge of RDF triples and SPARQL can easily query DBpedia with powerful questions such as: “Who are the U.S. presidents who took office when they were 55-year old or younger, during the last 60 years,” or “Find the town in California with less than 10 thousand people.” This is accomplished by a Search by Example (SBE) ap- proach where a user can enter the query conditions directly on the Infobox of a Wikipedia page.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.