S  H  O  E :  Simple HTML Ontology Extensions


How to issue a query

How it works

Submit your own page


Validation service

Semantic Search - The SHOE Search Engine

Welcome to the next generation in web search engine technology! Are you tired of getting millions of responses to your queries and having to scan through many pages to find what you're looking for? SHOE uses XML-like tags and advanced artificial intelligence technology to make keyword based search engines a thing of the past.

Why not press the button below and give it a try? Although we have only indexed a small portion of the web so far, our knowledge base is growing. With your help, we can become the most effective search engine out there.

How to issue a query

  1. Select an ontology.The pull-down list allows you to select from one of the available ontologies. By default, the base ontology is selected for you.
  2. Select the category that best describes the subject of your query. The list displays all terms used by the ontology. Subcategories are indented beneath their parent categories.
  3. Press the Select button. A list of properties that apply to the category you have chosen is displayed to the right of the category list.
  4. Enter your query terms.Type in values (e.g., URLs, names, numbers, etc.) for those properties which you wish to use to restrict your search. Use the Show checkbox to display a property in your query results without restricting it to a particular value. Use the Find button to display all instances that have a value for that property and the corresponding values. To use one of these values in your query, select it and press the Add To Query button.
  5. Press the Query button. The results of your query are displayed below the category list and properties. Click and drag on the borders between column headings to change the size of columns.
  6. View a Web page. Double-click on a URL or select one and press Get Page to open another window that displays the web page.
  7. Issue the same query to the general web. Press Web Search to issue a similar query to a popular search engine.

So, how does this work?

It's actually quite simple. The basic idea is that all pages indexed by the search engine must use a special set of tags, sort of meta-tags on steroids if you will. These tags provide more than keywords and descriptions, they describe content and relationships. If you are familiar with XML, then you are aware that more and more web pages are created using content-oriented tags as opposed to the presentation-oriented tags provided by HTML. However, XML alone cannot solve the search problem. Why? Because there is no machine understandable meaning associated with ordinary XML tags, for example a furniture store might use the tag <CHAIR> to mean something you sit on while a university might use the same tag to mean a person that heads a department. As a result, traditional search engines will be just as confused with XML as they are now with HTML. The SHOE solution, however, solves this problem by associating a context with a web page; this context can be used to disambiguate terms and provide background knowledge that might help in interpreting content. In SHOE we call this context an ontology, which is really just a fancy way of say "a vocabulary and what it means." You can find more detail about SHOE by perusing the pages of the research project that spawned this website.

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Please send comments, questions, or suggestions for this site to heflin@cs.umd.edu.