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New tool to revolutionise web searches

A search-engine tool being developed in Sydney and picked up by internet giant Google will revolutionise the way people retrieve information from the internet, its developers say.

The advanced text-search algorithm, Orion, is being developed by University of NSW PhD student Ori Allon and his supervisor Dr Eric Martin.

Orion will make searches much less time-consuming, by working with existing search engines and expanding on their function.

Instead of finding pages on the net that contain keywords, then providing links, the new search engine will provide expanded text extracts which will eradicate the need to open every link.

Orion has sparked interest from the likes of Google and Yahoo, with Google acquiring the rights to the algorithm.

Twenty-six year-old Mr Allon, who is currently based at Google headquarters in California, said Orion would improve "the speed and focus of internet searches which is, as we all know, an invaluable service".

Dr Martin, who has supervised Mr Allon and helped develop Orion, said the search engine tool would make net surfing "much easier, and much less frustrating".

"You won't have to click and see if what you're after is in this webpage, and go back and forth again and again," he said.

"This will give the information directly and immediately. It will be a great time-saver for users."

Dr Martin said the project, which started in March last year, would be finished in the next 12 to 18 months.

"He [Mr Allon] has been working tremendously fast. He's been an amazing student," said Martin.

"He's done in one year what most students wouldn't be able to do in three years."

The deal with Google, which could be worth millions of dollars, is a windfall for the university.

UNSW will retain ownership of Orion, as it was developed within the university's PhD program.

Israeli-born Mr Allon arrived in Australia in 2002, completing bachelor's and master's degrees at Melbourne's Monash University before beginning his PhD at the University of NSW last year.

New tool to revolutionise web searches - Monday, April 10, 2006 -

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