Sunday, February 12, 2012

Web service: Wolfram|Alpha

I was suppressed to know the web service of Wolfram|Alpha, a computable knowledge engine. I knew this one by aan article of AppleInsider about 1/4 Siri searching result from Wolfram|Alpha.

Unlike the search by Google, the results are collection of web pages or resources based on a query's relevance or top hits. The inventor Stephen Wolfram said that Wolfram|Alpha is not a search engine. Instead, it is a computable knowledge engine which provides results from its back-end computer system, Methematica, with curated data.

After the initial discovery, I was fascinated with this idea of combining math, computer program, data and systematic experiments. For me this is a new idea, but Stephen has spent his 30 year research on this.  At the time I found this service, Wolfram|Alpha was in the trial stage and soon two days ago the Pro is out.

Based on the information, the structure of this web service is composed of four basic blocks:

Since the results are computed and presented as a list of graphics, tables, and explanations, there are no source information. In this sense, this web service is not a replacement for Google server, but a quite nice complement.  I have tried to search for some code solutions but with no actually any results. I hope the future version may provide nice solutions as well.