By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2002-07-15 Print this article Print

-Categorizer 1.1"> Auto-Categorizer 1.1

The main point of differentiation for Applied Semantics Auto-Categorizer is its application of the companys massive ontology. For a few years now, Applied Semantics has been growing this ontology through massive sweeps of the Web and through input by linguistics experts. At this point, with more than 1.2 million terms, the ontology can effectively map concepts and meaning to terms, making it highly effective for categorization.

Applied Semantics typically provides Auto-Categorizer as a pre-installed appliance, although companies can also choose to install the server software (which runs on Linux, Solaris and Windows systems) themselves. To administer the system during tests, eWeek Labs accessed it remotely using the Taxonomy Administrator client, which runs only on Windows.

Using this client, we were able to easily create a unique taxonomy for our needs. The product also includes a number of industry-specific taxonomies that can be used as is or customized as needed.

After we created our taxonomy, we mapped each category to one or more concepts in the ontology. For example, for a category such as "mental health," we could map to concepts such as "depression" and "mental health care" (see screen).

Auto-Categorizer also allows multiple subcategories, which could be visible to end queries or available to improve granularity. In tests, it was easy to update categories on a regular basis.

Within the Taxonomy Administrator client is the Gist tool. Using this tool, we could test the effectiveness of categorizations by entering sample content and determining if the correct categories were displayed.

Content can be tested with the Gist tool either by cutting and pasting into the Gist client or by referring to a URL. The Gist tool will then display which categories and concepts it relates to the content being tested.

All data input and output for Auto-Categorizer is done through XML, which makes it possible to communicate with almost any system. As far as integration with other applications, the product has APIs for C, Java, Perl and Visual Basic.

Pricing for Auto-Categorizer ranges from $140,000 to $160,000, par for the course in this product category.

Because of the nature of the ontology and how the system works, Applied Semantics focuses Auto-Categorizer on specific industry segments. The first iteration (the one we tested) is focused on publishing organizations; a future release will support pharmaceuticals.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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