“Who are the strongest European competitors on software ideas? Who is the best doctor to cure insomnia in a nearby hospital? Where can I attend an interesting conference in my field close to a sunny beach?”
This information is available on the Web, but no software system can accept such queries nor compute the answer.
We hereby propose search computing as the new multi-disciplinary science which will provide the abstractions, foundations, methods, and tools required to answer these and many similar questions. While state-of-art search systems answer generic or domain-specific queries, search computing enables answering questions via a constellation of dynamically selected, cooperating search services.
Search computing requires innovation in software principles, languages, interfaces and protocols, as well as contributions from other sciences such as mathematics, operations research, psychology, sociology, knowledge representation, human-computer interfaces, economical and legal sciences. The starting date of the project is November 1st, 2008. The Search Computing project kick-off was held on November 14, 2008; four seminars were given (open to the DEI department), followed by a general discussion (between project members). The project is internally organized with seven teams: Concept Team, Theory and Methods, Service Registration and Management, Query Processing, Interaction Design, Tools, Business Models and Technology Watch. A workshop took place in Como, June 17-19 2009, by gathering participants from three ERC-funded projects: Search Computing, Serge Abiteboul's WebDam, and Carlo Ghezzi's SMScom.