Title of Invention

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ORGANIZING DATABASE MATCHES GENERATED BY PROCESSING SEARCH CRITERIA

Abstract In a system and method for organizing database search criteria match results which are generated through a search engine adapted to generate system database upon the processing of search criteria established and submitted by a system user, the system is adapted to defind and group the search criteria match results for presentation to the user based upon the relative emphasis or de-emphasis of such results. The system includes a context software module, for de-emphasis of such results. The system includes a context software module, for enabling of such results. The system includes a context software module, for enabling the generating of a context database consisting of content, links, and layouts organized for presentation to the user, which module is adapted to determine and specify the context database based on a current context and settings. The system also includes a criteria software module for enabling the generating of a comparison database, adapted to enable criteria to be submitted, modified, and input by the user to generate comparison database information. It also includes a resolution software module for enabling the establishing of a relationship between a context database and a comparison database without modifying the context organized for presentation to the user. It further may include an argument software module for enabling an argument consisting of an expression constructed for a specific purpose to be formed and submitted. The system may also include a display axis software module for generating axes consisting of distinct search submissions to enable the display of search criteria matches.
Full Text SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ORGANIZING DATABASE MATCHES
GENERATED BY PROCESSING SEARCH CRITERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to improvements in systems and methods
for organizing search criteria matches, and, more particularly, to a new and
improved system and method for.defining and grouping search criteria matches
on the basis of the relative emphasis or de-emphasis of such matches, for
presentation to the user, wherein the search criteria matches are generated by
processing search criteria established and submitted by a user through a search
engine adapted to generate databases for the system.
A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which
is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the
facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent
disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent file or
records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
A CD-R is included as the official copy of the computer program listing of
the preferred form of source code consisting of over 300 lines of code, and is
filed with and a part of this application and incorporated by reference herein.
Description of the Related Art
It has been known to provide an interactive environment for viewing,
browsing, searching, finding, accessing, and obtaining content and/or
information, through client-server networks including computers and the Internet.
Such systems present information to a user where the user has varying degrees

of interest in the information, which may or may not change based on context
and/or time.
However, while desired information exists, it is hard to isolate, due to an
ever expanding realm of human knowledge. For any given context, desired
information may be lost in a huge body of irrelevant information. Searching this
vast collection of knowledge is a significant problem.
Further, it has been known to provide currently available search
mechanisms which enable the user to conduct searches. These technologies
vary in capability ranging from being of little use to being highly effective.
For many users, however, these method and technologies do not provide
satisfactory results. Their operation is cryptic and/or cumbersome, and therefore
not easily implemented by many people.
On the one hand, fundamental user control over the search process is
currently relatively simple but not very effective, in that the user may conduct a
simple search but still be unable to find the desired information which may be lost
in the unwanted information located, or may not be found at all. On the other
hand, advanced control is successfully used by a very few, since its interface
requires terse and cryptic syntax, unforgiving methodologies, and obscure
nomenclature, as in boolean operators for example.
One of the most significant problems with this searching process is that
although the user knows what he wants to find, expressing this desire to a search
mechanism requires an unnatural exact syntax and terminology to generate
desirable results. Search mechanisms presently do precisely what the user
says, rather than what the user means, if search mechanisms were capable of
interpreting the user input, including all contextual factors regarding the user and
the query, they might be able to do what the user means, yielding much more
satisfactory results.

Another aspect of user frustration regarding any search activity concerns
not knowing what the system is doing. Pressing a button can still leave the user
wondering whether the system understood the request. This type of frustration
has a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of any system including a
search system.
Indices are presently used by many search services. These attempt to
organize information in a way that allows users to find what they are looking for
with greater ease.
Search engines are also employed by many services. These allow the
user to specify a search "parameter". The search engine then interprets this
parameter and presents the user with its results. These results are presented
in an ordered list and, in some cases, are categorized in some fashion. Many
times, however, the system will do what the user said, rather than to present
what the user really wants. The system will show a large superset of
possibilities, overwhelming the user with information overload. In such cases,
the user must examine a list of results in order to find what is being looked for.
Search technologies are making advances presently in interpreting user
input and seeking to derive true user intent. One approach involves the
formation of question databases allowing the user to specify a question and
obtain possible answers. Some technologies attempt to interpret queries using
a variety of schemes to process user input. The presentation of output, however,
is still restricted to lists. In addition, the scope of this technology is limited to the
subjects contained within their respective databases.
Therefore, those concerned with the development and use of improved
search criteria matches organizing systems and methods and the like have
recognized the need for improved systems and methods for interpreting user
input, deriving and applying user intent, and presenting output in an efficient and
effective manner.

Accordingly, the present invention fulfills these needs by providing efficient
and effective systems and methods for providing a responsive interactive
environment that does not make assumptions regarding what the user desires.
Rather, they leverage off of the familiar, and provide the user with an effective
means for indicating what they really want through an intuitive refinement of the
search query submission. The system enhances any information generated in
a search by identifying, ranking, and/or sorting such information for the user. It
controls the presentation of any collection of content and data based on results
passed to it from its current sources in addition to user direction. The sources
can be anything capable of providing data, including but not limited to search
engines. Combining these techniques and applying them efficiently creates an
effective method for finding information.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Briefly, and in general terms, the present invention provides a new and
improved system and method for interactively applying a set of display rules that
emphasizes and de-emphasizes in varying degrees any collection of content and
information links, without disturbing the content, organization, functionality, or
layout thereof. It enables the user to find, sort, access, and view a collection of
content and information in an effective manner through the use of intuitive
interactive control, display cues and enhancement, and persistent search
methodologies.
By way of example, and not by way of limitation, the present invention
provides a new and improved system for organizing search criteria match results,
generated by processing search criteria established and submitted by a user
through a search engine adapted to generate system databases, in an effective
and efficient manner. It includes presentation cues to show relevancy, which are
particularly effective when used with familiar content and layout presentation. It
enables the layout to remain the same both before and after all queries, showing
the results without disturbing the layout of the content. For a Web page search,
the layout and functionality of the page displays unranked links in one way, and
ranked links in a different way through style, color, and/or symbolic modification.
The presentation may reflect the ranking of the link, while the location and
functionality of all items on the page remains as before the results were applied.
The system and method are adapted to operate generally, for example,
within a display environment wherein there are choices such as links presented
to the user, and in particular within the framework of World Wide Web browsers
and browser-like environments. They are further adapted to take ranking data
associated with the choices or links presented to the user, and, while preserving
the existing organization and graphical layout of the information, to display the
choices or links in such a manner that the ranking of the choices is clearly
conveyed to the user. The ranking data may come from any source, such as the

output of a search engine. For example, such a search engine may generate a
prioritized list by using a score assigned to the list of items, wherein the list
includes ranked choice or link items. The system may modify selected display
characteristics of the choice or link items, leaving all other characteristics of the
display unchanged. The characteristics modified may include, for example,
choice or link size, style, hue, luminescence, intensity, and animation. Such
modifications may be applied to the choice or link background.
The system can accommodate and clearly communicate to the user the
relevancy of each presented item with respect to any number of user-defined or
pre-defined categories, through emphasis, de-emphasis, and designation. The
system further enables effective and intuitive construction, modification, and
application of boolean search arguments. It also includes controls that notify the
user of its task progress to minimize frustration and enable the user to focus on
the task at hand. The user is able to utilize a persistent search technique, which
applies parameters constantly modifying the display of whatever the user
chooses to view as the user views it.
More particularly, the present invention constitutes a system for organizing
database matches generated by processing search criteria established and
submitted by a user through a search engine adapted to generate databases for
the system. The system is adapted to define and group search criteria match
results on the basis of the relative emphasis or de-emphasis thereof for
presentation to the user.
The system, in accordance with the invention, includes a context software
module, for enabling the generating of a context database consisting of content,
links, and layouts organized for presentation to the user, adapted to determine
and specify the context database based on a current context and settings. The
system further includes a criteria software module for enabling a comparison
database to be generated, adapted to enable criteria to be submitted and

modified, and to enable the user to input criteria for generating comparison
database information.
The system also includes a results resolution software module for enabling
a relationship to be established between a context database and a comparison
database, without modifying the context as organized for presentation to the
user. The system may further include an argument software module for enabling
an argument consisting of an expression constructed.for a specific purpose to be
formed and submitted.
The system of the present invention may also include a display axis
software module for generating axes for the display of search criteria matches
responsive to the interaction of the results resolution software module with the
display axes. A search axis comprises a distinct search submission. The system
may still further include a control state software module for enabling the user to
manipulate the system.
These and other elements, objects, and advantages of the invention will
become apparent from the following more detailed description, when taken in
conjunction with the accompanying drawings of illustrative embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
1
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system and method for organizing search
criteria matches, in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a flow chart of the path of a sequence of links leading from
context to context, in the practice of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a diagram showing a sequence of refine control operations, in
accordance with the invention;
FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a series of menus for controlling the
operation of the system and method, pursuant to the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a diagram of a user interface in an initial state, in accordance with
the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a similar diagram of the user interface after a search operation,
pursuant to the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a similar diagram of a user interface after a refine operation, in
the practice of the invention;
FIG. 8 is a flow chart of a sequence of operations, in accordance with the
present invention; and
FIG. 9 is a flow chart of the operation of a control mechanism, in
accordance with the invention;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
The present invention is directed to an improved system and method for
organizing search criteria matches in an efficient and effective manner, wherein
the matches are generated by processing search criteria established and
submitted by a user through a search engine adapted to generate databases for
the system. The improved system and method provides effective and efficient
defining and grouping of search criteria matches on the basis of the relative
emphasis or de-emphasis thereof for presentation to the user. The improved
system and method are further adapted to define and group search criteria
match results so as to present the content, layout, and functionality of links to
search criteria match result hits and links to search criteria match result non-hits,
while conveying the distinctions therebetween. The preferred embodiments of
the improved system and method are illustrated and described herein by way of
example only and not by way of limitation.
The system and method herein are adapted to provide interactive display
control of information while preserving the original layout and organization of the
information, and while adding cues that categorize and distinguish information
in a readily grasped manner. They utilize different methods of emphasis, de-
emphasis, and designation to accommodate and clearly communicate to the user
the relevancy of each presented item with respect to any number of user defined
or pre-defined categories. For example, relevancy with regard to a particular
parameter may be tied to a color display of the link text, while the relevancy with
regard to a second parameter may be conveyed through the representation of
the background of the text. Through the use of a variety of devices such as, but
not limited to, symbologies or icons, the relevance of each item with regard to
each of a plurality of parameters may be clearly conveyed to the user.
Parameters may be treated as equivalent, as for example by being
mapped to a common display method, or treated as separate, as for example by
mapping and displaying each term with different methods. Relevancy with

regard to a single parameter may be conveyed through the use of variable
display characteristics of a symbology, while degree of relevancy may be
reflected in user discernable variation in mapping symbology. A term that maps
to more than one parameter may display multiple parameters, enabling the user
to easily determine the relationship between the displayed content and layout
with regard to specified parameters, and by adjusting these relationships to
interactively refine an information culling process.
The system and method herein are further adapted to provide simple and
intuitive construction, modification, and application of boolean search arguments.
The display of such operations may take many forms, as for example for items
that contain two distinct terms, the equivalent of a boolean AND operation may
be displayed with more emphasis than any item matching only one term. A NOT
operation may enable the affected item to be de-emphasized.
Such system and method herein may also include controls that notify the
user of the progress of tasks to minimize frustration, enabling the user to focus
on the task at hand, particularly with tasks that take significant time, such as
tasks in World Wide Web applications that are executed at the server side, as
well as other lengthy operations.
The system and method may be applied to any viewable context at any
time, as it does not disturb content, organization, or functionality. This enables
the user to use a persistent search technique, applying parameters constantly
modifying the display of whatever the user chooses to view as the user views it.
Calling up a set of information in the display applies the parameters and results
to that instance of content and its organization. The same parameters may be
applied to any context, either by calling up a different context or enabling the
parameters whiie viewing any context.
In the method of operation of the system, the techniques are applied in a
manner that adds the powerful capabilities therein without disturbing content

' familiarity. The implementation utilizes suitab.le techniques available to yield
responsive performance. Many interactions appear to be instantaneous, while
others keep the user informed or are implemented in such a way that the impact
thereof is minimized and de-emphasized. Cues are tailored to any given
application to best emphasize and de-emphasize subject matter. Emphasis and
de-emphasis may be expressed through manipulation of attributes such as for
example size, color, style, highlight, and background presentation. Symbologies
may also be integrated into the display.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote
like or corresponding parts throughout the drawing figures, and particularly to
FIGS. 1-9, and in particular to FIG. 1, the system 10 is adapted to organize
database matches generated by processing search criteria established and
submitted by a user 12 through a search engine 14 adapted to generate
databases for the system 10. Search criteria comprise user-specified
parameters adapted to form comparison databases 16. A comparison database
16 comprises search criteria hits, adapted to be used in conjunction with a
context database 18 to determine search criteria matches. The comparison
database 16 further comprises the current comparison database, and links
adapted to access context. A hit comprises a single positive result returned from
a search submission.
A context database 18 comprises a database adapted to be associated
with a context, which comprises content, links, and layouts organized for
presentation to the user 12. A context database 18 further comprises a
collection of links which reference contexts and information. The context
database 18 also comprises the current context database, links to World Wide
Web pages, and links adapted to be accessible within the current context. The
context database 18 further comprises links associated with accessible links.
The associated links comprise a plurality of links appearing within a sub-context
accessed through a link located within the current context, wherein a sub-context

comprises a context accessed through a link which exists within another context.
A link comprises an interactive control adapted to enable a user to change
the current context to the context associated with the link. The links comprise
Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), wherein each URL comprises an absolute
address of a context in the World Wide Web. Each link is adapted to access
subordinated contexts, links, and content. Each -link is adapted to access
subordinate links through a link path comprising a sequence of links leading from
context to context in a continuous path, as shown in FIG. 2. The link path is
adapted to enable the user to change contexts by activating a first link in the
path, and by activating another link located within the context which changes the
context within which a further link in the path is located. Search criteria matches
comprise search criteria match links.
The system 10 includes a context software module 20 for enabling a
context database 18 to be generated, adapted to determine and specify the
context database 18 based on a current context and settings. The context
software module 20 is adapted to generate the context database 18 based on
static values, or based on process submissions. The systemlO further includes
a criteria software module 22, for enabling a comparison database 16 to be
generated, adapted to enable criteria to be submitted and modified, and to
enable the user 12 to input criteria for generating comparison database
information. The criteria software module 22 includes a criteria modification
software module for enabling the user to modify the input criteria term and the
processing thereof. The criteria modification software module 22 is adapted to
attribute designation of a criteria term, to change the criteria term, and to flag the
criteria term for exclusion of the criteria term from consideration. The criteria
modification software module 22 is aiso adapted to adjust a boolean operator
flag of the criteria term, to adjust a display axis flag of the criteria term, and to
adjust placement of the criteria term in a submission order.

The system 10 further comprises a results resolution software module 24,
for enabling a relationship to be established between the context database 18
and the comparison database 16, without modifying the context as organized for
presentation to the user 12, and for evaluating the context database 18 against
each comparison database 16. The results resolution software module 24 is
adapted to compare each context database link to each comparison database
link. The system 10 further comprises an interacting module for enabling the
context software module 20, the criteria software module 22, and the results
resolution software module 24 to interact with each other. The interacting
module comprises a database for interconnecting and transmitting information
among the context software module 20, the criteria software module 22, and the
results resolution software module 24. The interactive module database includes
data bus structures internal in or external to a computer. The external data bus
structures comprise the Internet.
The system 10 may also include an argument software module 26 for
enabling the forming and submission of an argument, which comprises an
expression constructed for a specific purpose. The construction of an argument
is adapted to be specific to a specific submission destination. The system 10 is
also adapted to enable the context to be changed, whereupon the arguments are
applied within the changed context. The argument software module 26 is further
adapted to determine whether the context database 18 needs to be updated, and
also to notify the results resolution software module 24 upon updating of the
context database 18 and the comparison database 16. The argument software
module 26 is adapted to accept a current criteria queue, an associated setting,
and a current context setting, and to determine the need for updating the context
database 18 responsive to the settings and the status of an existing context
database 18 and a comparison database 16. A criteria queue includes criteria
used to form arguments. The criteria queue is adapted to enable the user to
modify the criteria. Changing the context is adapted to modify the current
context settings so as to affect argument submissions. The systemlO further

may include preloaded arguments, wherein modifying the current context
settings may include modifying preloaded arguments.
The argument software module 26 is further adapted to update and submit
all arguments as required if the context changes, and to refer to the associated
settings, parse the criteria into arguments, and pass the argument to an external
service and submit the arguments, so as to create and update a corresponding
comparison database 16. The results resolution software module 24 is adapted
to evaluate the context database 18 against each comparison database 16
based upon flags for criteria or arguments, upon notification by the argument
software module 26. The flags include designations regarding boolean operators
and display axes, and the flags include designations regarding exclusions.
The system 10 may further include a display axis software module 28 for
generating axes for the display of search criteria matches, responsive to the
interaction of the results resolution software module 24 with the display axes.
The display axis software module 28 is adapted to define the relative emphasis
or de-emphasis of search criteria matches, for conveying matches to the user 12,
and for grouping thereof, for presentation to the user 12. The display axis
software module 28 is further adapted to consider each display axis and its
designated presentation parameters, updating the display, and generating
settings based thereon. It is also adapted to convey respective matches so as
distinguish results derived through one comparison database 16 from results
derived through another comparison database 16. The search axes comprise
distinct search submissions. A search axis includes a comparison database 16
associated therewith. Each display axis is adapted to display the relationship
between the source criteria in the criteria queue and the results generated by the
criteria, and to communicate variations in intensity for conveying the intensity of
a search criteria match. The display axes are adapted to be combined in a
plurality of ways. The display axis software module 28 is adapted to assign a
display property based upon the settings. A comparison database 16 and a
related argument each include corresponding axes, and the corresponding axes

are adapted to maintain the relationship between the comparison database 16
and the argument.
The results resolution software module 24 is adapted to display
substantially immediately the context link display properties adjustments, and to
accumulate the context link display properties adjustments for subsequent
display. The results resolution software module 24 is further adapted to adjust
each display axis to emphasize increment, and to adjust each display axis to de-
emphasize increment and emphasize decrement. The results resolution
software module 24 is also adapted to adjust each display axis to emphasize
maximum, and to adjust each display axis to de-emphasize maximum and
emphasize minimum.
Further, the system 10 may include a control state software module 30 for
enabling the user to manipulate the system 10, and for providing feedback to the
user 12 regarding the progress of the operation tied to the control. The control
state software module 30 is adapted to indicate that control has been activated
by the user, and that control has contacted the associated process. The control
state software module 30 is further adapted to indicate the progress of a process,
and to indicate that a process is complete. The control state software module 30
is also adapted to indicate that control is available to be activated, or.that control
is not available to be activated by the user. The control state software module
30 is adapted to enable the user to perform other actions without awaiting
completion of a process, and to be used for controls accessible to the user.
Search criteria matches comprise search criteria match links. Emphasis
of search criteria match links comprises the conveyance of the relevancy of links
within the current context. De-emphasis of search criteria match links comprises
the conveyance of the lack of relevancy of links within the current context. Match
links comprise common links between the comparison database 16 and the
context database 18. The context links include display properties, and the
results resolution software module 24 is further adapted to adjust the context link

display properties for each match of a comparison link to that of a context link.
The system 10 further includes an element for connecting the system 10 to a
search engine 14, comprising for example a data bus. The search engine
connecting element is further adapted to connect to a search engine optimized
for searching context and returning results in a specific format.
The system 10 may also include a user interface display in a browser
window. The user interface display includes a title bar. The title bar includes an
identifier component for identifying the system provider, a context selector
component, and an about link component. The context selector component is
adapted to enable the user to select the context for conducting subsequent
operations, and comprises a mutually exclusive list. The about link component
comprises a window which includes miscellaneous information. The title bar also
includes a help link component, a current context path component, and a current
sub-context component. The help link component comprises a window which
includes help information. The current context path component is adapted to
identify the current link path which leads from the top context level to the current
sub-context. The clicking of a link in the link path changes the current context to
the link clicked, and updates the current context to indicate the change. The
current sub-context component is adapted to identify the current sub-context and
task progress information.
The title bar also includes a search criteria entry field, a search button, a
refine button, and an advanced link component. The search criteria entry field
is adapted to enable the user to enter search criteria, and to accommodate text
handling functionality. The search button is adapted to execute a search
operation upon pressing thereof, to add the search operation item to a criteria
queue if the queue is empty, to execute an update, and to replace the current
criteria in a criteria queue if the queue contains a search operation item. The
refine button is adapted to execute a refine operation upon pressing thereof, to
add the current criteria to a criteria queue, and to execute an update operation.

The advanced link component is adapted to enable the user to access advanced
search settings and functionality.
The title bar further includes a refine criteria queue, a current context
display, and a search engine title bar. The refine criteria queue includes preset
and user specified criteria, and is adapted to enable the user to modify the
criteria therein, and to enable the user to make changes and execute an update
operation. The current context display includes the-current context comprising
links, content, and layout therefor. The search engine title bar is adapted to
display a current search engine, and to enable the user to change the current
search engine. The title bar further includes a goto link, a settings link, and a
current search results display. The goto link is adapted to open a window for
displaying a. currently selected search engine window, and to pass a current
argument to a current search engine. The settings link is adapted to open a
window for enabling the user to control the behavior of a search engine, and to
vary the settings depending upon a currently selected search engine. The
current search results display includes a window for displaying the results of a
current search engine.
In a method of operating the system, for example, as illustrated in FIGS.
3-7, the user may type in the search service address 32 in the URL field for
access thereto. The search service window 34 may include an index 36, a
Search Term Entry Field 38, and a Search Refine Control 40. An area 42 thereof
may display search results, and may be blank initially. For a user action of
entering a search term, the user may type a term into the search term entry field,
and click on a find button. The field may then be cleared and the term placed in
a Search Term History list. A result index may then be updated to display the
result of the search. Certain items may then be highlighted, while others are
lowlighted. Highlights may indicate that there are search term matches within the
category, and lowlights may indicate the absence of search term matches within
the category. A search result list area which may be below the result index may
display for example the twenty top results with a more button for access to

further top results. A result refine control may display the search term which the
user has just performed a search with, which may appear below preset items
therein.
The user in such a method may then type another term into the search
term entry field and click on the find button. The result search term entry field
may be cleared, and the term may be placed in the Search Term History List,
and appear above the previous term. The result index may then be cleared of
highlights and lowlights, and then updated to display the result of the current
search term. Certain items my then be highlighted and others lowlighted, with
highlights indicating that there are search term matches within the category, and
lowlights indicating the absence of search term matches within the category. The
search result list area may then be clear of the previous results from the previous
searches, and the system may display the top twenty results with a more button.
The result refine control window may then be cleared of the previous search
term, and the current search term may be displayed therein.
For a user action of adding a search refine term, the user may type
another term into the search term entry field. Instead of clicking on a find button,
the user may click on the refine button 44. Clicking on a back button may undo
the previous refine action. Continuing to click on the back button may undo all
refine actions until there are none left. Clicking on a forward button may redo the
previously undone refine actions. All actions may have an immediate effect on
the display screen. The action of the result search term entry field may then be
the same as when the user clicks on the find button, in that the field may be
cleared and the term placed on the Search Term History List, appearing above
the previous term. The results index may then be cleared of highlights and
lowlights, and then updated to display the merging of the results of the previous
search and the current search. Results index items may then appear highlighted
if found within the index category containing a match for one of the search terms,
and lowlighted if found within the index category containing a match for none of
the search terms.

The highlight in such action may be variable for the results index, and also for
the search result list, in that if the found item is within the index category containing
a match for more than one of the search terms, its highlight display value may be
increased. The gradations of highlight values may be based on the number of
active search terms. This system and method enables the user to constrict certain
boolean search arguments in a natural way, accommodating OR and AND
arguments. The result from the previous search may then be cleared from the
search results area. The system may then display the top twenty results of the
search conducted with the previous search term and the current search term as the
search engine arguments, and may provide the more button. The previous search
term may remain in its place in the refine control window, with the current term
appearing below the previous term.
For a user action of refine control by modifying a search term, the user may
modify the effect that any preset or search term has on the index and result list.
Clicking on the term in the refine control window may cause the display effect to
cycle through primary preset states. Clicking on the term may display a menu 46
that shows the current state of the term, and enables control over these states and
access to other functionality, as seen in FIG. 4. For primary preset states, changing
the preset state may have an immediate effect on the index and search result list
display. The states of each preset and term may be indicated in the display of the
preset and term of the refine control window. When in a disabled state, the term is
not considered when resolving the index and/or list display. When in an emphasize
state, the term is applied to the index and the search result list, with matches
emphasized or highlighted. When in a de-emphasized or highlighted. When in a
de-emphasize state, the term is applied to the index and the search result list, with
matches de-emphasized or lowlighted in the index, and excluded in the search

results list. The user may use de-emphasize to refine a search to exclude things,
as to exclude e-commerce items by setting a buy preset to de-emphasize.
For a user action of clicking on an index item, the index window may be
updated so that it displays the appropriate sub-index. All active refine control
presets and terms may then be applied to the current index and displayed
appropriately. The search list may then be regenerated, utilizing all of the active
refine control presets and terms in addition to the appropriate sub-index context
arguments. For a user action of clicking on a search result item or an index
result item in a search result list, the user may then be taken to the appropriate
item and page. For a user action of closing the search service and opening the
search service again, closing the window may clear all queues. Returning to the
search service also may return to cleared search entry fields, refined control
queues, and refine control presets disabled. Search parameters and states may
be saved as procedural bookmark.
In the operation of the system 10 of the invention, as seen in FIG. 8, the
user may place a term in a search entry field, and may add criteria through the
control state software module 30, at step 48, to append the entry to a criteria
queue, and to set an operator to a system default. The user may modify the
criteria through the control state software module 30, at step 50, and may modify
the term to edit the characters in the term, and modify the properties of the term.
Modifying properties may comprise modifying a database generation mapping,
modifying a database determination mapping, modifying an axis, and modifying
an operator state. The user may change a context through the control state
software module 30, at step 52. A content or a layout displayed on a page may
be changed, and a sub-context link may be clicked on for change. A context
database 18 may be generated, at step 54, generating a context database 18
which may be pre-defined, and which may comprise links or URLs in a current
context. Generating may further comprise generating the context database
which includes further URL link addresses subordinate to the links which appear
in a context page. Generating further comprises generating the context

database wherein the subordinate links are linked directly or through other
intermediate links to parent links which appear in the current context.
A submission argument may be constructed and submitted, at step 56.
Constructing a submission argument may comprise constructing the submission
argument for controlling the generating of a comparison database 16, and may
comprise influencing a context in a submission argument. Constructing may
further comprise constructing a single term submission argument, constructing
a multiple term submission argument, or constructing a combination submission
argument. Submitting may comprise passing arguments to other systems based
on system settings, at step 58, and may further comprise the user modifying a
submission parameter, and the resubmitting of results affected by the modified
submission parameters. Constructing may further comprise constructing the
submission argument which includes information for generating and defining the
comparison database, constructing the submission argument for controlling the
generating of a static comparison database, and constructing the submission
argument for controlling the generating of a procedure for defining, generating,
and looking up a comparison database. Influencing may comprise enabling a
current context to affect the constructing of the submission argument, and
combining additional modifiers with other components. Single term constructing
may comprise entering a single term in a search entry field, and generating a
criteria and applying system and user settings. Multiple term constructing may
comprise entering multiple terms in a search entry field, and interpreting the
multiple terms through associated process, system, and user settings.
Combination constructing may comprise combining submission arguments into
a single submission argument by applying system and user settings.
Passing may comprise passing arguments to systems residing locally on
a client. Combining comprises determining the modifiers by analyzing the
current context and other parameters and procedures. Entering comprises
pressing a search button, and assigning a default boolean AND operator.
Multiple term constructing comprises applying the associated settings to the

criterion. Passing arguments comprises accessing the local client system
through a data bus, and accessing the local client system through remote access
means.
Results may be received and resolved, at step 60. Receiving results may
include maintaining the relationship between the result and the submission,
preserving a ranking returned with the results for subsequent application during
displaying, and receiving each result which comprises a comparison database.
Receiving results may further comprise composing the results, associating
additional description with the result, and associating additional links with the
result. Resolving the results may comprise resolving the relationship of each
comparison database against a current context database, at step 62.
Composing results comprises determining that results returning more than one
hit include at least one associated link comprising a URL. Relationship resolving
comprises comparing the context database 16 against each submission
argument database. Determining results includes a URL appearing as a distinct
address, and a URL appearing as part of an address path. Composing further
comprises accumulating match counts for each link in the context. Composing
further comprises attributing matching subordinate context links to corresponding
parent links appearing in the current context.
A current context may be displayed, at step 64. Displaying may include
updating the display of the current context based on system and user settings.
Displaying includes displaying links in the current context. Displaying links
includes de-emphasizing links in the current context that do not include a match
with respect to submission results, and appropriately displaying links which
include varying degrees of matching. Displaying further comprises specifying
that different search axes are presented using symbologies and display
technologies for indicating the de-emphasis and emphasis distinctions.
Displaying links includes determining and applying display information as it
occurs, and accumulating display information for consolidated determining and
applying thereof.

The present invention further includes a method of controlling the client
side and process side of a client-process operation, as illustrated in FIG. 9, for
organizing database matches generated by processing search criteria
established and submitted by a user through a search engine adapted to
generate databases, in a system for defining and grouping search criteria match
results on the basis of the relative emphasis or de-emphasis thereof for
presentation to the user. Controlling may comprise activating a control for
controlling the client side and the process side. Activating may comprise locally
executing through a locally executed module, or remotely executing through a
remote process. Remotely executing comprises remotely executing through a
server. Activating may comprise pressing a menu button, and accessing a menu
which includes further control options. Pressing may include canceling a process
upon pressing the menu button while the control indicates it is engaged in the
process.
The control may indicate whether it is available for activation, at step 66.
The user may activate the control and the control may indicate the state thereof,
at step 68. Activating may comprise pressing the button. Activating may include
the control providing feedback through a visual change and audio cue, and
indicating that the button has been pressed and that the client is executing a
specific procedure, through updating the control display, at step 70. Activating
may further include the client attempting to contact an associated process. The
control may remain in a state until receiving acknowledgment from the process.
The process side may acknowledge the control activation.
The process side may return an acknowledgment to the client upon the
contacting of the process side, at step 72. The user may be notified through a
visual cue, an audio cue, a visual change, or an audio change. The client may
await the associated task program update and completion, at step 74. The
system may complete a requested task and notify the client, at step 76.
Completing may include completing client side and process side procedures.
The user may be notified of task completion through a visual cue, or through an

audio cue. The system may indicate completion to the client side. The control
may revert to an appropriate state. The control may be accessible or
inaccessible dependent upon the state of the application. The control may
indicate an error condition. The control may indicate that its associated process
is aborting, upon the user having the option and choosing to abort, at step 78.
The present invention provides improved systems and methods for
utilization in many different applications. They are adapted to operate on existing
content and layout, and they take advantage of pre-existing user familiarity of
organization and structure of a collection of information. They may be applied
for example to any web page, and may also be applied to the display of various
informational structures, such as for example finding information contained within
computerized file and directory structures, transportation schedules, or
entertainment event calendars and schedules.
The systems and methods herein may be adapted to enable the user to
access all information that appears in the screen display, as for example by
moving the control out of a browser window and making it independent of the
screen display. The control may be separated completely from the display, as
by being controlled from a different source. For example, as the user accesses
content, the system may be notified by the site that it should apply a set of
parameters to the presentation of the information, where the user has not
explicitly requested such action, and the parameters and process may be applied
to affect the current display of content.
The systems and methods herein may be used on any web page, adding
functionality, as by showing the relevancy of the links on a page based on a
current set of evaluation criteria, without affecting the functionality of the page.
They may be applied to any data and data access structure or mechanism
resembling such structures, including other applications not strictly considered
web-browser applications, such as for example computer system directory
listings and schedules.

It will be apparent from the foregoing that, while particular forms of the
invention have been illustrated and described, various modifications can be
made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly,
it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the appended claims.
Examples of a preferred form of source code, for use in carrying out the
above described software and firmware steps in conjunction with the hardware
as described above, are included in the CD-R as theofficial copy thereof which
is a part of this application and incorporated by reference herein.

ICLAIM:
1. A system (10) for organizing database matches generated by processing search
criteria established and submitted by a user (12) through a search engine (14) adapted to
generate databases for the system, wherein the system is adapted to define and group
search criteria match results on the basis of the relative emphasis or de-emphasis thereof
for presentation to the user, comprising:
context software means (20) for enabling a context database (18) to be generated,
wherein the context database comprises content, links and layouts organized for
presentation to the user, adapted to determine and specify the context database based on a
current context;
criteria software means (22) for enabling one or more comparison databases (16)
to be generated, adapted to enable search criteria to be submitted and modified by a user
for generating comparison database information;
results resolution software means (24) for enabling a relationship to be established
between the context database (18) and the or each comparison database (16), without
modifying the context as organized for presentation to the user by evaluating links of the
context database against links of the or each comparison database, whereby the results
resolution software module is able to compare each context database link to each
comparison database link; and
display means (28) adapted to define and group search criteria match results so as
to present links to search criteria match result hits emphasised or de-emphasised
according to the relevance or non-relevance of the search criteria match result hits, and
also links to search criteria match result non-hits, while conveying the distinctions
therebetween.
2. The system as claimed in claim 1, having axes for the display of search criteria
matches.

3. The system as claimed in claim 1, having interacting software means for enabling
the context software means (20), the criteria software means (22), and the results
resolution software means (24) to interact with each other;
enabling a context database (18) to be generated, wherein the context database
comprises content, links and layouts organized for presentation to the user, adapted to
determine and specify the context database based on a current context;
enabling one or more comparison databases (16) to be generated, adapted to
enable search criteria to be submitted and modified by a user for generating comparison
database information;
enabling a relationship to be established between the context database (18) and
the or each comparison database (16), without modifying the context as organized for
presentation to the user by evaluating links of the context database against links of the or
each comparison database, whereby the results resolution software module is able to
compare each context database link to each comparison database link; and
defining and grouping search criteria match results so as to present links to search
criteria match result hits emphasised or de-emphasised according to the relevance or
nonr-elevance of the search criteria match result hits, and also links to search criteria
match result non-hits, while conveying the distinctions therebetween.
4. The system as claimed in claim 1, having control software means (30) enabling
the user to manipulate the system.
5. The system as claimed in claim 1, having display axis software means (28) for
defining the relative emphasis or de-emphasis of the search criteria matches and for
grouping thereof, for presentation to the user.
6. The system as claimed in claim 1, having argument software means (26) for
enabling the forming and submission of an argument

7. The system as claimed in claim 1, having axes for the display of searach criteria
matches, and wherein the results resolution software means (24) are adapted to interact
with the display axes.
8. The system as claimed in claim 1, having control state software means (30) for
providing feedback to the user regarding the progress of the operation tied to the control.
9. The system as claimed in claim 1, having an element for connecting the system to
a search engine (14), comprising a data bus.
10. The system as claimed in claim 1, having search axes which comprise distinct
search submissions.
11. The system as claimed in claim 1, having a user interface display in a browser
window.
12. A method of organizing database matches generated by processing search criteria
established and submitted by a user (22) through a search engine (14) adapted to generate
databases, in a system (10) for defining and grouping search criteria match results on the
basis of the relative emphasis or de-emphasis thereof for presentation to the user, said
method comprising;
enabling a context database (18) to be generated, wherein the context database
comprises content, links and layouts organized for presentation to the user, adapted to
determine and specify the context database based on a current context;
enabling a comparison database (16) to be generated, adapted to enable search
criteria to be submitted and modified, and to enable the user to input search criteria for a
comparison of the submitted and modified criteria and the user input criteria for
generating comparison database information;
enabling a relationship to be established between the context database (18) and

the comparison database (16), without modifying the context as organized for
presentation to the user by evaluating the context database against each comparison
database, whereby the results resolution software module is able to compare each context
database link to each comparison database link; and
defining and grouping search criteria match results so as to present the content,
layout, and functionality of links to search criteria match result hits and links to search
criteria match result non-hits, while conveying the distinctions therebetween.
13. The method as claimed in claim 12, wherein
the user (12) places a term in a search entry field; and
the user (12) adds search criteria through control state software means, to append
the entry to a criteria queue, and to set an operator to a system default
14. The method as claimed in claim 12, for controlling the client side and process side
of a client process operation for organizing database matches generated by processing
search criteria established and submitted by a user through a search engine adapted to
generate databases, comprising activating a control for controlling the client side and the
process side.
15. The method as claimed in claim 14, which involves the control indicating whether
it is available for activation.

Documents:

819-kolnp-2003-abstract.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-claims.pdf

819-KOLNP-2003-CORRESPONDENCE-1.1.pdf

819-KOLNP-2003-CORRESPONDENCE-1.2.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-correspondence.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-correspondence1.3.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-description (complete).pdf

819-kolnp-2003-drawings.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-examination report.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-examination report1.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 18.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 18.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 3.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 3.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 5.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-form 5.pdf

819-KOLNP-2003-FORM-27.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-gpa.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-gpa1.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-abstract.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-claims.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-description (complete).pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-drawings.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-form 1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-granted-specification.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-reply to examination report.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-reply to examination report1.1.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-specification.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-translated copy of priority document.pdf

819-kolnp-2003-translated copy of priority document1.1.pdf


Patent Number 247730
Indian Patent Application Number 819/KOLNP/2003
PG Journal Number 19/2011
Publication Date 13-May-2011
Grant Date 09-May-2011
Date of Filing 24-Jun-2003
Name of Patentee GENSER MATHIAS
Applicant Address 1817 YOSEMITE ROAD, BERKELEY, CA
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 GENSER MATHIAS 1817 YOSEMITE ROAD, BERKELEY, CA 94707
PCT International Classification Number G06F 17/30
PCT International Application Number PCT/US2001/48916
PCT International Filing date 2001-12-13
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 09/747,334 2000-12-22 U.S.A.