[ISN] From Criminals to Web Crawlers

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Tue Jul 28 1998 - 00:08:50 PDT

Forwarded From: blueskyt_private


>From Criminals to Web Crawlers
by Kristen Philipkoski 

4:00am  15.Jul.98.PDT

A crime-fighting search engine used to fight terrorism and insurance scams
may soon find a home at one of the Web's top search engines. The system,
called VCLAS, has helped detectives crack cases all over the world.

"In 11 days, the PhoneFraud software helped law-enforcement agencies in
New York uncover US$1.2 billion in stolen services," said Jay Valentine,
president and CEO of InfoGlide, the company that owns the VCLAS software

The software is built around a "Similarity Search Engine," which thrives
on imperfect and complex information, data that engineer David Wheeler
said often stumps search algorithms based on neural networks.

Similarity searching is well-suited to crime work, Wheeler said, because
investigations are often inherently random and disconnected. For instance,
if police are looking for a red vehicle, but a witness says it was maroon,
a traditional keyword search wouldn't register a match since it couldn't
recognize that the colors are similar.

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