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  1. Erweiterte Patentsuche
VeröffentlichungsnummerWO2007123483 A1
PublikationstypAnmeldung
AnmeldenummerPCT/SE2007/050256
Veröffentlichungsdatum1. Nov. 2007
Eingetragen19. Apr. 2007
Prioritätsdatum20. Apr. 2006
VeröffentlichungsnummerPCT/2007/50256, PCT/SE/2007/050256, PCT/SE/2007/50256, PCT/SE/7/050256, PCT/SE/7/50256, PCT/SE2007/050256, PCT/SE2007/50256, PCT/SE2007050256, PCT/SE200750256, PCT/SE7/050256, PCT/SE7/50256, PCT/SE7050256, PCT/SE750256, WO 2007/123483 A1, WO 2007123483 A1, WO 2007123483A1, WO-A1-2007123483, WO2007/123483A1, WO2007123483 A1, WO2007123483A1
ErfinderMagnus Larsson
AntragstellerValeryd Invest Ab
Zitat exportierenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe Links:  Patentscope, Espacenet
A search system and a search method
WO 2007123483 A1
Zusammenfassung
There is provided a system (10) which is intended for carrying out a search for a product (B) of a specific product type (Q) from among a plurality, n, of products (P i -Pn) of the same product type (Q) and matching the product (P1) that best corresponds to the product sought (B). n is an integer and n> 2 wherein the system (10) comprises a search engine means (12) connected to a computer network (14), a memory means (16) connected to the computer network (14), and a client means (18) connected to the computer network (14). The client means (18) comprises interface means (20) for entering m search values (Si -Sm), where m is an integer and m > 1 concerning m different parameters (Ai,..., Am) of the product tyρe(Q). The search engine means (12) comprises a processor means (22), a comparison means (24) connected to the processor means (22) and a memory means (26) connected to the processor means (22), wherein for each product (Pi -Pn) of the product type (Q) the processor means (22) calculates a deviation index I1 = f(Amι,Sm ), where Ami is the parameter Am for the product (Pi), where 1 < i < n. The comparison means (24) compares the various calculated deviation indexes (Ii Ift) with one another for the purpose of listing the products (Pi -Pn) as to how they match the product sought (B), and wherein the list is stored in the memory means (26) for display on the client means (18).
Ansprüche  (OCR-Text kann Fehler enthalten)
1 A system (10) which is intended for carrying out a search for a product (B) of a specific product type (Q) from among a plurality, n, of products (P1 - Pn) of the same product type (Q) and matching the product (Pi) that best corresponds to the product sought (B), wherein n is an integer, and n > 2, wherein the system (10) comprises a search engine means (12) connected to a computer network (14), a memory means (16) connected to the computer network(14), and a client means (18) connected to the computer network (14), characterized in that the client means (18) comprises interface means (20) for entering m search values (S1 - Sm), where m is an integer and m > 1 concerning m different parameters (A1, ..., Am) of the product type (Q), wherein the search engine means (12) comprises a processor means (22), a comparison means (24) connected to the processor means (22) and a memory means (26) connected to the processor means (22), wherein, for each product (P1 - Pn) of the product type (Q) the processor means (22) calculates a deviation index I, = f(Am. ,Sm ), where Am] is the parameter Ara for the product Pj, where 1 < i < n wherein the comparison means (24) compares the various calculated deviation indexes (I1, ..., In) with one another for the purpose of listing the products (P1 - Pn) to how they match the product sought (B), and wherein the list is stored in the memory means (26) for display on the client means (18).
2. A system (10) according to claim 1 , characterized in that the deviation index Ij is m calculated according to the following expression Ij = ^ku * Au. - S11 where ku, (kϊ, ..., km)
denote different pre-determined constants.
3. A system (10) according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the interface means (20) is used for entering a first search value So prior to entering the m-number of search values, wherein the processor means (22) makes a first selection of the products (P1 - Pn), wherein the selection either consists of the products (P1 - Pn) whose parameter, A0, corresponds to the first search value S0 or consists of all of the products (P1 - Pn) if no correspondence is established.
4. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-3, characterized in that the client means (18) also comprises a further interface means (28) which, when the products (P1 - Pn) consist of various assemblage components which are shown as symbols, a part is selected by clicking on a corresponding symbol.
5. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-4, characterized in that the computer network (14) is comprised of a local area network (LAN) (14), a global area network (WAN)
(14) a private network (14) or the Internet (14).
6. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-5, characterized in that the memory means (6) stores parameters Am for the different products (P1 - Pn).
7. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-6, characterized in that the client means (18) is comprised of a personal digital assistant (PDA) (18) a mobile telephone (18) or a computer (18).
8. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-7, characterized in that the memory means (16) is comprised of a server (16).
9. A system (10) according to any one of claims 1-8, characterized in that the search engine means (12) is comprised of a server (12).
10. A method of searching for a product (B) of a specific product type (Q) by means of a system (10) from a plurality, n, products (P1 - Pn) of the same product type (Q) and matching the product (Pj) that corresponds to the product (B) sought, wherein n is an integer and n > 2, wherein the system (10) comprises a search engine means (12) connected to a computer network (14), a memory means (16) connected to the computer network (14) and a client means (18) connected to the computer network (14), wherein the method comprises the steps of entering m-number of search values (S1 - Sm) with the aid of an interface means (20) comprised in the client means (18), where m is an integer and m > 1 relating to m-number of different parameters (Ai, ..., Am) for the product type (Q); calculating with the aid of a processor means (22) comprised in the search engine means (12) a deviation index
I, = f(Am( ,Sm ) for each product (P1 - Pn) of the product type (Q), where Am is the parameter
An, for the product (PO, where 1 > i > n; comparing the different calculated deviation indexes (I1,..., In) with one another by means of a comparison means (24) comprised in the search engine means (12); listing the products (P1 - Pn) in accordance with how well they match the sought product (B); and storing the list in a memory means (26) comprised in the search engine means (12) and connected to the processor means (22) for display on the clients means (18).
11. A method according to claim 10, characterized by calculating the deviation index Ii in accordance with the following expression
where ku, (ki,. ;km) denote different pre-determined constants.
12. A method according to claim 10 or 11, characterized in that the method comprises the further steps of entering a first search value, S0 by means of the interface means (20); and making a first selection of the products (P1 - Pn) by means of the processor means (22), wherein the selection either consists of the products (P1 - Pn) whose parameter, A0, corresponds to the first search value, S0, or consist of all the products (P1 - Pn) if no correspondence is established.
13. A method according to any one of claims 10-12, characterized in that the method also comprises the steps: when the products (P1 - Pn) consist of different assemblage components displaying the components as symbols with the aid of a further interface means (28), and clicking on a symbol to select a corresponding symbol.
14. A method according to any one of claims 10-13, characterized in that the computer network (14) is comprised of a local area network (LAN) (14) a global area network (WAN)
(14) a private network (14) or the Internet (14).
15. A method according to any one of claims 10-14, characterized in that the method comprises the further step of storing parameters ( Am ) for the different products (Pi - Pn) in the memory means (16).
16. A method according to any one of claims 10-15 characterized in that the client means (18) is comprised of a personal digital assistant (PDA) (18), a mobile telephone (18) or a computer (18).
17. A method according to any one of claims 10-16, characterized in that the memory means (16) is comprised of a server (16).
18. A method according to any one of claims 10-17, characterized in that the search engine means (12) is comprised of a server (12).
19. At least one computer program product ( 1021 , ... , 102n) which can be loaded directly in the internal memory of at least one digital computer (10O1,...,10On) comprising software code portions for carrying out the steps according to claim 10 where said at least one product (102lv ..,102n) is run on said at least one computer (10O1, ...,10On).
Beschreibung  (OCR-Text kann Fehler enthalten)

A SEARCH SYSTEM AND A SEARCH METHOD

Field of invention

According to a first aspect the present invention relates to a system for searching for a product of a specific kind among a plurality, n, products of the same product type and matching the product that best corresponds to the sought product.

According to a second aspect the present invention relates to a method of searching for a product of a specific kind from among a plurality, n, of products of the same product type with the aid of a search system and matching the product that best corresponds to the sought product.

According to a third aspect the present invention relates to at least one computer program product for searching for a product of a specific kind from among a plurality, n, of products of the same product type and matching the product which best corresponds to the sought product.

Background of the invention

One problem with using the Internet for ordering/purchasing products such as, for instance, gas attenuators/gas springs is finding the right gas attenuator/gas spring for a particular application. Usual methods for finding the correct gas attenuator/gas spring for a particular application involves manually searching through different brochures, catalogues and cross reference lists. These methods are time consuming and complicated and considerably impair availability and selling opportunities. This problem applies generally to all types of products and not only to gas attenuators/gas springs.

Patent document US-Al -2004/0111401 relates generally to information searching techniques and more particularly to an information search engine that support both keyword searches and parameter searches. The solution taught by this document is directed generally to the use of a single search solution by the insertion of an "intermediate program layer" over a generic text search solution which provides parameter search possibilities by using typical keyword search engines. The document WO-A2-2005/017682 describes a product placing engine and a method of automatically identifying products for association with a document, wherein the search engine includes a text analyzer, an analysis module adapted to determine word scores and to adjust the word scores in respect to words of determined weights, a key word construction module adapted to construct a keyword query search string with the use of words containing the highest word scores, a search engine adapted to search in a product database having product items for identifying products that fulfill the keyword query search string and to assign product scores, and a finishing module which is adapted to identify word hits in each of the product entries and the documents and also for updating the product score.

The document US-A 1-2005/0203860 relates to a product selection system which includes a CPU, a memory which is connected operatively to the CPU, wherein the memory includes a program which is adapted to be executed by the CPU and the CPU and the memory are adapted to co-act so as to present a user interface and an expert interface for an expert system for product selection, an expert interface code segment included in a computer readable medium configured and adapted to create and modify via a graphic user interface a graphically reproduced tree structure representing a plurality of product applications, for associating and modifying, via a graphic user interface, one or more used conditions with each node of the tree structure; and associating and modifying one or more appropriate grades for a plurality of applications, via a graphic user interface; and creating and modifying a list of products via a graphic user interface; and associating and modifying one or more products via a graphic user interface with each leaf node of the tree structure; associating use conditions options with each product via a graphic user interface; associated appropriate grades for each product via a graphic user interface; a user interface code-segment included in a computer readable medium configured and adapted to choose a path in the tree structure via a graphic user interface for reproduction on the same window as the graphic user interface: the products associated with the leaf node of the chosen path; the use condition associated with each node of the chosen path; and product utility indicators associated with each node of the chosen path; choosing one or more of the use conditions associated with the nodes of the chosen path, via the same window of the graphic user interface and entering the user defined relative weights of the product utility indicators for the intended application of the products associated with the leaf nodes of the chosen path; comparing the chosen use conditions with the displayed products, wherein products that do not have such chosen use conditions as attributes are filtered out from the displayed list of products; comparing the entered relative weights of the product usability suitability indicators with the product usability indicators associated with the displayed products, associating a score with each displayed product; and printing the resultant product list, corresponding suitability scores, selected tree path, selected use conditions and entered relative importance of product usability suitability indicators.

US Patent document 5,802,524 relates to a method and means of integrating an object based search engine with a parametrically archived database. In order to enable the object based search engine to access the objects there is created a special index class in the form of an SQL-table (Structured Query Language table). The index class includes attributes of a part number, an object identification number, an item identifier, a search permission attribute and a search engine identifier, an object being assigned a corresponding value for each attribute and each object being uniquely identifiable by the item identifier attribute. The search engine is activated depending on the type of data object to be indexed, in agreement with the search permission attribute of the catalogue table.

The Patent document US-Al -2002/0032611 describes a development tool in the form of a computer program for creating and maintaining the logic and the visual interface of a product configuration computer program. The invention lets a user-configuration developer-create both a visual end user interface and the underlying configuration logic. An integrated user interface builder allows the developer to design a configuration screen by dragging and dropping parameters, such as engines available in certain model automobiles onto a form. The document also illustrates an order system with an integrated search engine.

Although the above mentioned documents partly touch upon the aforesaid problems concerning the use of the Internet for ordering/purchasing products, none of these documents presents a search engine that is sufficiently user friendly.

In the solutions presented in the aforesaid documents, the user friendliness and the possibility of achieving the next best hit is lost since the abstraction level is directed more towards the absolute instead of to the user friendliness. Summary of the invention

The aforesaid problems are solved with a system according to the claim 1.

The system is intended for carrying out a search for a specific kind of product from among a plurality, n, of products of the same product type and matching the product that best corresponds to the sought product, n is an integer of and n > 2. The system comprises a search engine means connected to a computer network, a memory means connected to the computer network, and a client means connected to the computer network. The client means comprises interface means for entering m search values, where m is an integer and m > 1 concerning m different parameters of the kind of product sought. The search engine means comprises a processor means, a comparison means connected to the processor means and a memory means connected to the processor means. For each product of the type of product sought the processor means calculates a deviation index I1 = f(Am ,Sm ), where Am| is the parameter An, for the product P1, where 1 < i < n. The comparison means compares the various calculated deviation indexes I1, ..., In with one another for the purpose of listing the products as to how they match the product sought. The list is stored in the memory means for display on the client means.

The system according to the present invention provides a user friendly search system. The search can be made by stating one or more values. Another benefit afforded by the present invention is the elimination of manually handling different catalogues and cross reference lists.

Another benefit is that the system is easily managed, the user can learn about the search engine when obtaining information concerning nearby search possibilities and different combination possibilities. Since appropriate accessories are listed this, is more valuable for both the user and the administrator.

In this regard, a further benefit is obtained when the deviation index I, is calculated in accordance with the following expression m u=1 where ku, (kj, km) denote different predetermined constants.

In this context, a further benefit is afforded context when the interface means is used to enter a first search value S0 prior to entering the m number of search values, wherewith the processor means makes a first selection of the products (Pi-Pn), wherein the choice either consists of the products (Pi-Pn) whose parameter A0, corresponds to the first search value So, or consists of all the products (P1-Pn) if no correspondence is established.

A further benefit is obtained in this context when the client means also comprises a further interface means which when the products (Pi-Pn) consist of different assembly parts displays the parts as symbols, wherein selection of parts is carried out by clicking on corresponding symbols.

There is obtained a further benefit in this context when the computer network is comprised of a local area network (LAN), a global area network (WAN), a private network or the Internet.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the memory means stores parameters Am for the different products (Pj-Pn).

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the client means is comprised of a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cell phone or a computer.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the memory means is comprised of a server.

In this connection, a further benefit is obtained when the search engine means is comprised of a server.

The aforesaid problems are also solved by a method according to the claim 10. The method is intended for searching for a product of a specific type from among a plurality, n, of the same type of product with the aid of a product search system and matching the product that best corresponds to the product sought, n is an integer and n > 2. The system comprises a search engine means connected to a computer network, a memory means connected to the computer network and a client means connected to the computer network. The method comprises the steps of entering m number of search values (S1 - Sm) with the aid of an interface means comprised in the client means, where m is an integer and m > 1 , with respect to m-number of different parameters (A1, ..., Am) for the type (Q) of the product type concerned; calculating a deviation index I1 = f (Am| , Sm ), where Am is the parameter An, for the product (Pj), where 1

< i < n; for each product (P1-Pn) of the product type (Q) with the aid of a processor means comprised in the search engine means, comparing the various calculated deviation indexes (I1, ..., In) with one another with the aid of comparison means comprised in the search engine means and connected to the processor means; listing the products (Pi-Pn) in accordance with how well they match the product (B) sought; and storing the list in a memory means comprised in the search engine means and connected to the processor means for display on the client means.

The inventive method provides a user friendly search method. The search can be made by stating one or several values. Another benefit is that manual handling of different catalogues and cross reference lists is eliminated.

A further benefit is that the system is easily administered, the user can learn about the search engine when receiving information relating to near at hand search possibilities and different combination possibilities. Since appropriate accessories are listed this is of added value to both the user and to the administrator.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the deviation index I1 is calculated in accordance with the following expression

where ku, (k1? ..., km) denotes different pre-determined constants.

A further benefit is afforded in this connection when the method also comprises the steps of - entering a first search value, S0, with the aid of the interface means; and making a first selection of the products (P1-Pn) with the aid of the processor means, wherein the selection either consists of the products (P1-Pn) whose parameter, A0, corresponds to the first search value, S0, or consists of all the products (Pi-Pn) when no correspondence has been established.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the method also comprises the steps when the products (P1-Pn) consist of various assembly components the components are illustrated as symbols with the aid of a further interface means, and clicking on a symbol to select a corresponding component.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the computer network is comprised of a local area network (LAN-network), a global area network (WAN-network), a private network or the Internet.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection by the method also comprises the step of storing parameters Am. for the different products (P1-Pn) in the memory means.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the client means is comprised of a personal digit assistant (PDA), a cell phone or a computer.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the memory means is comprised of a server.

A further benefit is obtained in this connection when the search engine means is comprised of a server.

The aforesaid problems are also solved with at least one computer program product according to claim 19. The computer program product can be loaded directly in the internal memory of at least one digital computer. The computer program product comprises program software code portions for carrying out the steps in accordance with the inventive method, where said at least one product is run on said at least one computer.

According to the present invention there is obtained a user friendly search method with this at least one computer program product. The search can be carried out by stating one or more values. This beneficially eliminates manual handling of different catalogues and cross reference lists.

Another benefit is that the system is easily administered and the user is able to take in knowledge from the search engine when the engine receives information concerning related search possibilities and different combination possibilities. Because appropriate accessories are listed, this adds to the value with regard to both the user and to the administrator.

Brief description of the drawings

The objects of the present invention and the benefits afforded thereby are made evident below in a detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

Fig. 1 is a block diagram which illustrates a network environment in which the present invention can be concretized;

Fig. 2 is a block diagram which illustrates one embodiment of a system according to the present invention for searching of a product of a specific kind among a plurality of products n in number in the same product type and matching the product which best corresponds with the product searched for. Fig. 3 is a flow chart which illustrates one embodiment of a method according to the present invention for making a system search for a product of a specific kind from among a plurality of products n in number of the same product type and matching the product that best corresponds to the product sought for;

Fig. 4 is a flow chart that illustrates an embodiment of the inventive method in which the product type consists of gas springs; and figure 5 illustrates schematically a number of computer program products according to the present invention.

Detailed description of embodiments at present preferred

Figure 1 is a block diagram illustrating a network environment 8 in which the present invention can be concretized. It is pointed out that the network environment 8 is solely presented by way of illustration and represents many system configurations in which the invention can be implemented. The network environment 8 includes a search engine means 12 connected to a computer network 14. The network environment 8 also comprises a memory means 16 connected to the computer network 14. Finally, the network environment 8 comprises a client means 18 connected to the computer network 14.

The computer network 14 may be any known network within the field of achieving communication between the various nodes 12, 16 and 18 in the network environment 8. For example, the computer network 14 may be a local area network (LAN), a global area network (WAN) or a combination of such networks. The computer network 14 may also be configured as a public network, such as the Internet, and/or a private network and may include various topologies and protocols known to the person skilled in the art.

The client means 18 is characteristically a general computer, but may be any device that is able to communicate via the computer network 14, such as a personal digital assistant (PDA), a mobile telephone or the like.

Figure 2 is a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of a system 10 according to the present invention. The system 10 is adapted to search for a product (B) of a particular type of product (Q) from among a plurality, n, of products (P1-Pn) of the same product type (Q) and match the product (Pj) that best corresponds to the product (B) sought for. In this case n is an integer and n > 2. The system 10 comprises a search engine 12 connected to a computer network 14. The system 10 also comprises a memory means 16 connected to the computer network 14. The system 10 also comprises a client means 18 connected to the computer network 14. As will be evident from figure 2, the client means 18 comprises an interface means 20 for entering m-number of search values (S1-S1n) where m is an integer and m > 1, regarding m-number of different parameters (A1-An,) for the product type (Q). As will also be evident from figure 2, the search engine means 12 comprises a processor means 22. The search engine means 12 also comprises comparison means 24 connected to the processor means 22. As will also be evident from figure 2, the search engine means 12 comprises a memory means 26 connected to the processor means 22. The processor means 22 calculates a deviation index I, = f (Am. ,Sm ) for each product (P1-Pn) of the product type (Q), where Am. is the parameter An, for the product (Pj), where 1 > i > n. Formulated differently, the deviation index is a function of Am and Sm. The comparison means 24 compares the various calculated deviation indexes (I1,...In) with one another with the purpose of listing the products (P1-Pn) in accordance with how well the products match the product (B) sought for. The list is then stored in the memory means 26 for presentation on the client means 18.

According to one preferred embodiment of the system 10, the deviation index Ii is calculated in accordance with the following expression

where ku, (ki,...km) denote different predetermined constants.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the system 10 the interface means 20 is also used for entering a first search value S0. This is done prior to entering the m-number of search values. The processor means 22 then makes a first selection of the products (P1-Pn). This selection consists of the products (P1-Pn) whose parameter, A0, corresponds to the first search value, So, or consists of all the products (Pi-Pn) when no correspondence is established.

According to one preferred embodiment of the system 10, the client means 18 also comprises a further interface means 28 (see Figure 2). When the products (Pi-Pn) consist of different parts of an assemblage, the interface means 28 shows the parts as symbols, wherewith a part is selected by clicking on a corresponding symbol.

According to another preferred embodiment of the system 10, the computer network 14 is a local area network (LAN) 14, a global area network (WAN) 14, a private network 14 or the Internet 14.

According to another preferred embodiment of the system 10 the memory means 16 stores the parameters Am| for the different products (Pi-Pn).

According to another preferred embodiment of the system 10, the client means 18 comprises a personal digital assistant (PDA) 18, a mobile telephone 18 or a computer 18.

According to another preferred embodiment of the system 10, the memory means 16 is comprised of a server 16. According to another preferred embodiment of the system 10, the search engine means 12 is comprised of a server 12.

The modus operandi of the system 10 is described below with regard to products of the gas attenuator/gas spring type.

In this case there are used four parameters, A1-A4, which consist of: The length of the piston, A1

- The length of the piston rod, A2 - The diameter of the piston rod (M- value of the threads), A3

- The number OfNeWtOnS (N)5 A4.

In this specific case, the search is carried out in two stages. The first stage consists of the product selection and the second stage consists of the matching order, so that the gas attenuators/gas springs that are the best match are at the top of the order.

The selection is determined solely by the diameter of the piston rod. The search is carried out solely in respect of a given diameter. In this case, the interface means 20 is used for entering a first search value, S3. The processor means 22 makes a first selection of the products (Pi-Pn), in this case gas attenuator/gas springs, wherewith the selection consists either of the products (Pi-Pn) whose parameter, A3, corresponds to the first search value, S3, or consists of all the products (Pi-Pn) when no correspondence is established. In other words, if no correspondence is established or if no search value S3 is given for the diameter then all gas attenuators/gas springs are used for the selection.

All of the selected gas attenuators/gas springs can be placed in an order of rank, so that the product which best agrees with the search values will top the list. The processor means 22 calculates a deviation index

-S4 for each gas attenuator/gas spring. Ij is the deviation index for gas attenuators/gas springs number i and A1 , A2 and A4 are the parameter values of the gas attenuator/gas spring that are matched to the search values S1, S2 and S4. The constants kl5 k2 and Ii4 are used for balancing the deviations in respect OfA1, A2 and A4. The comparison means 24 then compares the various calculated deviation indexes (I1, 12, 14) with one another with the purpose of listing the gas attenuators/gas springs in accordance with how well they match the product sought.

When the search for matching gas attenuators/gas springs is complete, it is possible to search the end pieces of selected gas attenuators/gas springs. The selection of the end pieces is made on the basis of the measurement M of the gas attenuator/gas spring. M stands for Metric in this context. All selectable end pieces with a correct measurement M are gathered in two lists, one list for the piston rod and one list for the piston. The limitation is such as to prevent the selection of an end piece that does not match the selected gas spring. This function is purely a matching function.

End-piece selection can be achieved by the interface means 28 of the client means 18 displaying different symbol of different end pieces, wherewith the customer makes said selection by clicking on an appropriate symbol. When the gas attenuator/gas spring is chosen or assembled with the end pieces, the order can be made.

Figure 3 is a flowchart illustrating one embodiment of a method according to the present invention for searching with the aid of a system 10, a product (B) of a specific product type (Q) from among a plurality, n, of products (P1 - Pn) of the same product type (Q) and matching the product (Pj) that best corresponds to the sought product (B). The system 10 comprises a search engine means 12 connected to a data network 14, a memory means 16 connected to the computer network 14 and a client means 18 connected to the computer network 14. The method starts at block 50. The method then continues at block 52 with the step in which there are entered m-number of search values (S1 - Sm) with the aid of an interface means 20 comprised in the client means 18, where m is an integer and m > 1 with respect to m-number of different parameters (A1, ..., Am) for the product type (Q). The method then continues at block 54 with the step in which a processor means 22 comprised in the search engine means 12 calculates a deviation index I; = f(Am. ,Sm) for each product (P1 - Pn) of the product type (Q), where Am. is the parameter Am for the product (Pj), wherein 1 ≤ i

≤ n. The method then continues at block 56 with the step in which a comparison means 24 comprised in the search engine means 12 and connected to the processor means 22 compares the various calculated deviation indexes (I1, ..., In) with one another. The method then continues at block 58 with the step in which the products (P1 - Pn) are listed in accordance with how well they match the sought product (B). The method then continues at block 60 with the step in which the list is stored in a memory means 26 comprised in the search engine means 12 and connected to the processor means 22 for display on the client means 18. The method is terminated at block 62.

In the case of one preferred embodiment of the method, the deviation index Ij is calculated in accordance with the following expression

where ku, (ki ,... ;km) denote different pre-determined constants.

According to another preferred embodiment of the method, the method further comprises the steps of

- entering a first search value, S0, with the aid of the interface means 20; and - making a first selection of the products (P1 - Pn) with the aid of the processor means

22, wherein the selection either consists of the products (P1 - Pn) whose parameter Ao, corresponds to the first search value, S0, or consists of all products (Pi - Pn) if no correspondence is established.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the method, it also comprises the steps: when the products (P1 - Pn) consist of different parts of an assemblage, illustrating these parts as symbols with the aid of a further interface means 28, and clicking on a symbol so as to select a corresponding part.

According to a preferred embodiment of the method, the computer network is a local area network (LAN) 14, a global area network (WAN) 14, a private network 14 or the Internet 14.

According to another preferred embodiment of the method, the method further comprises the step of storing parameters Am. for the different products (P1 - Pn) in the memory means 16. According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention, the client means 18 is a personal digital assistant (PDA) 18, a mobile telephone 18 or a computer 18.

According to one preferred embodiment of the invention, the memory means 16 is comprised of a server 12.

Figure 4 is a flowchart that illustrates an embodiment of a method according to the present invention, where the product type is a gas attenuator/gas spring. A search is made on the basis of four parameters in an attempt to match the best possible gas attenuator/gas spring. These four parameters are: the piston rod diameter (M- value of the threads), A0 the piston length, A1 the length of the piston rod A2 the number of Newtons (N), A3

The method starts at block 70. The method then continues at block 72 by asking the question: Is S0 given as a search value of the diameter of the piston rod? If the answer is yes, the method continues to block 74 in which the step allows the selection to include all gas attenuators/gas springs whose parameter A0 agrees with S0. On the other hand, if the answer in block 72 is no, the method continues to block 76 wherewith all gas attenuators/gas springs are selected. The method then continues to block 78 with the step: Set i=l where i denotes gas attenuator/gas spring number i, where i is an integer and 1 > i > n. The method then continues at block 80 with the question: Is S1 given? If the answer is yes, the method continues to block 82 with the step: deviation index I1 = Kx * A1 -S1 . If the answer at block 80 is negative, the method continues at block 84 with the question: Is S2 given? If the answer is yes, the method continues to block 86 with the step: increase the value of Ij with k2 * A, -& . On the other hand, if the answer at block 84 is negative, the method continues at block 88 with the question: Is S3 given? If the answer is positive the method continues at block 90 with the step: increase the value of Ij with k3 * A3 -S3 . On the other hand, if the answer at block 88 is negative, the method continues at block 92 with the question: Is i smaller than n? If the answer is positive, the method continues at block 94 with the step: increase the value of i by 1, i.e. i = i+1. The step according to block 80 is then repeated, i.e. the next deviation index I2 is calculated. On the other hand, if the answer at block 92 is negative, i.e. i=n, the method continues at block 96 with the step: sorting the selection of gas attenuators/gas springs according to their deviation index (Ij,...,In). The method ends at block 98.

Examples of other types of products are furnishings, clothing, such as shirts, light bulbs, wheel bearings, hub seals, fasteners such as screws, nuts, work searching.

Figure 5 illustrates diagrammatically a number of computer program products 1021;...102n according to the present invention. Figure 5 shows n-number of digital computers 10O1,..., 10On where n is an integer. Figure 5 also shows n-number of different computer program products 102 \ , ... , 102n, herein disclosed in the form of CDs. The different computer program products 102i, .... 102n can be loaded directly into the internal memory of the n- number of different digital computers 10O1, ..., 10On. Each computer program product 102l5 ..., 102n comprises program software code portions for carrying out some or all of the steps according to figure 3 when the product/products 102l5 ..., 102n are run on the same computer 10O1, ..., 10On. The computer program products 102i, ..., 102n may, for instance, have the form of diskettes, RAM-disks, magnetic tape, opto-magnetic discs or other appropriate products.

It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the described embodiments, since it will be obvious to the person of average skill in the art that many different modifications within the scope of the accompanying claims are possible.

Patentzitate
Zitiertes PatentEingetragen Veröffentlichungsdatum Antragsteller Titel
EP1320041A2 *8. Apr. 200218. Juni 2003Fujitsu LimitedSearching profile information
US6714929 *13. Apr. 200130. März 2004Auguri CorporationWeighted preference data search system and method
US20030083958 *8. Juni 20011. Mai 2003Jinshan SongSystem and method for retrieving information from an electronic catalog
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Internationale KlassifikationG06F17/30
UnternehmensklassifikationG06F17/3053
Europäische KlassifikationG06F17/30S4P7R
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