"Did You Mean?" – part 2

I’ve been keeping an eye on the search terms and suggestions over the last few days and I noticed that we’re getting quite a few people getting failed keyword searches simply because there’s nothing that matches the term.

In particular, we’ve got a lot of students searching for diuretics.  As there’s no matches found, the spell checker jumps in and suggests things like dietetics, natriuretic or diabetics.  That got me wondering if there was a way of generating suggestions relevant to diuretics, rather than words that look or sound like it.

As a prototype, I’ve modified the Perl script to query the Answers.com web site and parse the response.  The hyperlinks text is compared with known keywords in the subject index and a tag cloud is generated (click to view larger version):

I’ve named it “Serendipity” simply because I’ve no idea what’s going to appear in there — the suggested keywords might be relevant (Hypertension and Caffeine) or they may be too broad (Medicine) to be of use.

Here’s some more examples (click to enlarge)…

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