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Patent Issued for Method, System, and Apparatus for Arranging Content Search Results

September 9, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Punaganti Venkata, Murali-Krishna (Espoo, FI); Luoma, Kristian (Kiviniemi, FI); Partanen, Jussi-Pekka (Helsinki, FI); Kankainen, Mikko Tapio (Helsinki, FI), filed on September 12, 2008, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8818992, is Nokia Corporation (Espoo, FI).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Mobile computing devices are increasingly being adopted by mainstream users. The combination of easy portability, increasing network availability, and large local storage capabilities will result in mobile devices becoming the primary data repository for users. This use of mobile devices to carry the user's core data is a natural evolution of varied uses of previous generations of mobile devices. For example, cellular phones, media players, navigation devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the like, were used to carry specialized data related to the device's primary function, e.g., contact data, music/video, maps and geographical data, notes, task lists, etc. Mobile devices have evolved that are capable of performing all of those functions on a single apparatus, and as a result the data related to those functions is also stored on the device.

"As mobile devices have gained these various capabilities, the devices are called upon to access a wide variety of local and remote content. Local content may include any files stored on a device's persistent storage or directly accessible via a peripheral interface. Remote content may include data that is accessible via networks, including infrastructure or ad-hoc networks accessible in the home, office, and/or the Internet. As a result of the ubiquity of networking, many uses now blur the lines between local and remote content. For example, a music subscription service may offer music downloads and/or streaming, and be set up in such a way that the user need not know whether a currently playing song is locally stored or streaming over a network.

"Even though there may be convergence between local and remote content for a given user application, the way that a user searches for such information may be still be configured to search for a particular type of data in a particular domain. This can lead to confusion in cases where the user is not particularly sure in which domain the target may reside. Further, such specialized searches may be inefficient, particularly in a reduced interface mobile device. Having to type in a query in different programs and in search contexts may be tiresome with a mobile input device. Similarly, trying to view and assimilate results on a small screen may be difficult."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention discloses a system, apparatus and method for arranging content searches. In one example embodiment, a method involves receiving a user-formulated search query via a user device. The search query is submitted to two or more search domains. The search domains represent separate data repositories accessible via the user device. Results objects are received from the two or more search domains in response to the search query. The results objects are ranked using different ranking criterion by the respective search domains from which the search results were received. A rank value for each of the results objects is determined based on a single ranking criterion. The results objects are ordered based at least partly on the rank values determined using the single ranking criterion. The results objects are sent for display in a user interface of the user device.

"In more particular embodiments, at least one of the different ranking criterion and single ranking criterion account for a context of the user device when determining the rank value for each of the results objects. In such a case, the context may include at least one of time, location, and mobile data services associated with the user device. Also in such a case, accounting for the context of the user device may involve using the context differently to adjust the rank values depending on the domain from which each of the search results originated.

"In other more particular embodiments, two or more search domains may include a first domain of local content stored on the user device, and a second domain of remote content accessible via a network. In another configuration, ordering the results objects for display in the user interface involves grouping a subset of the results objects based on similarities between members of the subset. In such a case, the similarities between the members of the subset may include any combination of a physical proximity between data objects represented by the members of the subset and a temporal proximity between data objects represented by the members of the subset.

"In other more particular embodiments, at least one of the different ranking criterion may include a plurality of ranking keys that are combined into a single ranking value. In such a case, at least one of the different ranking criterion may further include a plurality of weights each assigned to the plurality of ranking keys, and the plurality of weights are applied to the respective ones of the plurality of ranking keys before combining the ranking keys into the single ranking value. In another variation of this case, the search results are ordered for display in the user interface based on a view definition selected from two or more view definitions. Each of the two or more view definitions may be associated with different sets of weights applicable to the plurality of ranking keys, and the plurality of weights can be applied to the respective ones of the plurality of ranking keys is associated with the selected view definition. In such a case, the method may further involve updating the plurality of ranking keys in response to an over-the-air update of the user device.

"In other more particular embodiments, an apparatus includes one or more data interfaces capable of accessing separate data repositories and a user interface capable of receiving user inputs. A processor is coupled to the data interface and the user interface. Memory is coupled to the processor and includes instructions that cause the processor to receive a search query via the user interface and submit the search query to two or more search domains that represent the separate data repositories. The processor receives results objects from the two or more search domains in response to the search query. The results objects are ranked using different ranking criterion by the respective search domains from which the search results were received. The processor determines a rank value for each of the results objects based on a single ranking criterion, and orders the results objects based at least partly on the rank values determined using the single ranking criterion. The ordered results are sent for display in the user interface.

"In other more particular embodiments, a computer-readable storage medium includes instructions which are executable by an apparatus for performing steps that include: a) receiving a search query via a user interface; b) submitting the search query to two or more search domains that represent the separate data repositories; c) receiving results objects from the two or more search domains in response to the search query, wherein the results objects are ranked using different ranking criterion by the respective search domains from which the search results were received; d) determining a rank value for each of the results objects based on a single ranking criterion; e) ordering the results objects based at least partly on the rank values determined using the single ranking criterion; and f) sending the ordered results for rendering in the user interface.

"In other more particular embodiments, an apparatus includes: a) means for receiving a search query via a user interface; b) means for submitting the search query to two or more search domains that represent separate data repositories; c) means for receiving results objects from the two or more search domains in response to the search query, wherein the results objects are ranked using different ranking criterion by the respective search domains from which the search results were received; d) means for determining a rank value for each of the results objects based on a single ranking criterion; e) means for ordering the results objects based at least partly on the rank values determined using the single ranking criterion; and f) means for rendering the ordered results in the user interface.

"These and various other advantages and features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and the objects obtained by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated and described representative examples of systems, apparatuses, and methods in accordance with the invention."

For more information, see this patent: Punaganti Venkata, Murali-Krishna; Luoma, Kristian; Partanen, Jussi-Pekka; Kankainen, Mikko Tapio. Method, System, and Apparatus for Arranging Content Search Results. U.S. Patent Number 8818992, filed September 12, 2008, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8818992.PN.&OS=PN/8818992RS=PN/8818992

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Aggregation, Nokia Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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