6 - ' 450 (START OVERALL 1112001-tss) /
452 Receive Request Message From Mobile Device 6’ Associate Context Information With
454 Determine Abbreviation Of Message Search Term(s) 455 Determine Interim Result Partially Indexed By A bbreoiation(s)
Semi Result To Mobile Denice Based On 453 Interim Result And Associated Context
1 ENABLING SEARCHING ON ABBREVIATED SEARCH TERMS VIA MESSAGING
The present invention relates generally to searching data and; more particularly; but not exclusively to searching based on multiple abbreviated search criteria via a messaging system; for example a text messaging system.
Tremendous changes have been occurring in the Internet that influence our everyday lives. For example; in today’s society; mobile computing devices are becoming increasingly more common. Many mobile computing devices; such as personal digital assistants; cellular phones; and the like; may be employed to communicate voice messages; emails; text messages; and so forth; as well as to search for infonnation over the Internet. It is not uncommon to see a person on a bus; train; or even a boat; to be using their mobile devices to search for merchants; restaurants; music; businesses; or the like.
However; performing a search query for user relevant information still remains cumbrous. Often; the user might have to perfonn several search queries or enter inconveniently large amounts of data in order to obtain relevant search results. Irrelevant search results mean that the user is less likely to find what they are looking for; which in tum may translate into lost opportunities for merchants; or other businesses; to prosper from the user. Therefore; many businesses are searching for new ways to make search results more convenient and relevant to the user.
Search results can be diflicult for users to obtain and/or evaluate with electronic devices that have limited data input; output; and/or communication capabilities. For example; some cell phones have a limited keypad; a small screen; and/ or text messaging capabilities. Such devices may be limited to processing short text messages; such as Short Message Service (SMS) messages. Even with more capable devices; it is typically time-consuming for a user to manually open a browser; navigate to a search service; submit search tenns; and navigate forward and backward through the listed search results. Thus; it is with respect to these considerations and others that the present invention has been made.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the following drawings. In the drawings; like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various figures unless otherwise specified.
For a better understanding of the present invention; reference will be made to the following Detailed Description; which is to be read in association with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a system diagram of one embodiment of an enviromnent in which the invention may be practiced.
FIG. 2 shows one embodiment of a mobile device that may be included in a system implementing the invention.
FIG. 3 shows one embodiment of a network device that may be included in a system implementing the invention.
FIG. 4 illustrates a logical flow diagram generally showing one embodiment of an overall process for obtaining search results through a messaging system.
FIG. 5 illustrates a logical flow diagram generally showing another embodiment for obtaining search results through a messaging system.
FIG. 6 illustrates a logical flow diagram of an example process for detennining message search tenn abbreviations.
The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings; which form a part hereof; and which show; by way of illustration; specific exemplary embodiments by which the invention may be practiced. This invention may; however; be embodied in many different fonns and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather; these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete; and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Among other things; the present invention may be embodied as methods or devices. Accordingly; the present invention may take the fonn of an entirely hardware embodiment; an entirely software embodiment or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. The following detailed description is; therefore; not to be taken in a limiting sense.
Throughout the specification and claims; the following tenns take the meanings explicitly associated herein; unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The phrase “in one embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to the same embodiment; though it may. Furthennore; the phrase “in another embodiment” as used herein does not necessarily refer to a different embodiment; although it may. Thus; as described below; various embodiments of the invention may be readily combined; without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.
In addition; as used herein; the term “or” is an inclusive “or” operator; and is equivalent to the term “and/or,” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. The term “based on” is not exclusive and allows for being based on additional factors not described; unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. In addition; throughout the specification; the meaning of “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural references. The meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on.”
Exemplary embodiments of the invention are directed to a system and method for processing a search query submitted via a text message using partial indexing to enable use of abbreviated search tenns in the query. A mobile device sends a search request (e.g. a text message) to a server over a network; for example using an SMS code such as an SMS short code. The search request includes subsets or abbreviated search tenns. For example; to search for services or other characteristics of an element; a user of the mobile device can indicate the element by abbreviated tenns or portions of names features associated with the element. The server matches the abbreviated terms to corresponding names (using for example partial indexing); matches the named features to an element associated with the features; and then provides information regarding the element to the mobile device.
For example; where the element is a geographic location and the desired service is public ground transportation such as buses and/or trains; the features can be cross streets or other landmarks that define or identify (e.g.; uniquely) the geographic location. A reply to the search could include bus stops nearby to the intersection or region indicated by the cross streets and schedules of buses stopping at the stops. The abbreviated search terms can be portions of the street names; for example initial letters or consonants of the street names. Thus the server matches the abbreviated tenns to the street