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Volume 9, Issue 4

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T R O T T ' S C O R N E R
Michael Trott

Why Do We Need a Mathematical Search?

As emphasized in the penultimate Corner, the Wolfram Functions site can be viewed as a large table, with more than 250 functions running horizontally and more than 36 properties running vertically. Despite this clear organization, finding a special identity that you need (or vaguely remember) can be time-consuming. Some of the resulting 9,000 () matrix entries have up to five levels of nested subsections. (For instance, the entry for indefinite integrals of the Cos function contains thousands of entries.) Many identities can be written in different forms and classified in different ways. Furthermore, some identities might be given in a more general form than needed for a concrete purpose. So a search engine is clearly in order for quick and convenient access to the vast amount of knowledge encoded in the identities. Currently our Wolfram websites use a Google box to search textual content. Because all the pages with identities have the input form of the identities, you can already carry out some level of content-oriented searching. But for more complicated searches with a well-defined mathematical pattern in mind, a text search cannot give a satisfactory result. So we decided to implement a semantic search engine.



     
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