Automating Search Interfaces

Don Park donpark at
Fri Feb 20 22:39:40 GMT 1998


>I would like to talk about the location of the person making the search versus the location of the product or service provider. If I search for a product and I want it now, I only want a list of provider in a distance applicable for my request. And if I go to Europe this summer and want to make reservation or search for activities occuring at that time, the 'where I am' specification change. If I have a secondary house and make request on the week-end, I want the restaurant in that region and not the one near my primary house. An identity profile should be include in the query and give the chance to the search engine to make a better choice in regard of my age, sex, etc...

Interesting.  Some of the issues with product location are:

1. How to indicate location?

Address or map coordinates?  How does one find map coordinates?  What happens when he moves?

2. How to associate location with products?

If a vendor has all inventory at a single location then the location can be #FIXED in his DTD.  If inventory is distributed around the globe, each product or inventory group will have to be marked.  The problem is that now it makes no sense to indicate physical location.  It will have to be a store code which causes problem with search services since store codes will have to be converted into location format used by the search service.

As far as time constraints go, each product will probably be marked with time.  The problem is that some time constraints are relative in nature.

*Ouch*  I just thought of another painful problem with prices.  What happens when a store wants to put on a sale?  His database of products will have to map to different pricing schemes constrained by time, location, or association.

All this hurts my head a bit but it is very interesting indeed...


Don Park

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