Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Search as you type with snapshots and disambiguation

Exciting day today! Bing is shipping an innovative search feature aiming at helping users to complete their tasks, as soon as they start to type their queries.

Consider the keyword "pitbull". This is a very interesting query because the user can be interested in getting either results about the famous singer (a person) or about the dog (an animal). For this example, we believe no instantaneous decision can be taken on the user's behalf and that only the user has a complete understanding of the intent expressed with a query.

However, we believe that the search engine can help the user to express very quickly this intent. How? In Bing we use the power of Satori (our Microsoft Knowledge Graph) to enrich our suggestions with additional information useful for disambiguating different meanings associated with the query. In this way, the users can select their own most appropriate choice.

Another example is the query {pluto}.  Is the user interested in the planet or is she interested in the cartoon? Those are very different kinds of entities which happens to have the same name but Bing understands the difference and gives to the user the opportunity to select the desired choice.

Now let's suppose that the intent is not ambiguous. For instance consider the keyword {michele obama}, we believe that it is very valuable to have a rich suggestion like the following one.

And what if there are two persons with the same name? In this case, we offer the opportunity to select the desired person as in this example for the query prefix {rachel nich}

One more example. Let's consider the query {u2}. Here, we offer the opportunity to explore all the entities / artists that are playing with the pop band

And what if you search for {harry potter}? In this case Bing provides a snapshot of the filmography, a reference to the book and a reference to the character.

Hope you enjoy it - this is the beginning.

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