MrTaggy is an experiment in web search and exploration built on top of a PARC algorithm called TagSearch. Think of MrTaggy as a cross between a search engine and a recommendation engine: it’s a web browsing guide constructed from social tagging data.
Unlike most search engines, MrTaggy doesn’t index the text on a web page. Instead, it leverages the knowledge contained in the tags that people add to web pages when using social bookmarking services. Tags describe both the content and context of a web page, and we use that information to deliver relevant search results.
The problem with using social tags is that they contain a lot of noise, because people often use different words to mean the same thing or the same words to mean different things. The TagSearch algorithm is part of our ongoing research to reduce the noise while amplifying the information signal from social tags.
We also designed a novel search UI to explore the tag space. The Related Tags sidebar outlines the content landscape to help you understand the space. The relevance feedback capabilities enable you to tell the system both positive and negative cues about directions where you want to go. Try clicking on the Thumbs Up and Down to give feedback to MrTaggy about the tags or results that you liked, and see how your rating changes the result set on-the-fly.
We would appreciate your feedback and comments. Please send them to mrtaggy [at] parc [dot] com, or submit at mrtaggy.uservoice.com.
For enterprise licensing of the underlying technology and API, contact Lawrence Lee, Director of Business Development, at lawrence.lee [at] parc [dot] com.
PARC’s Augmented Social Cognition Area (ASC) developed the research and technology behind MrTaggy and TagSearch. The original idea was conceived in the spring of 2006 in a hallway conversation between Lichan Hong and Ed H. Chi during an informal brainstorming. One of PARC’s 2006 summer interns, MIT student Peter Lai, worked on an initial version of the system. In October 2007, Rowan Nairn joined ASC and has been the project’s main engineer.
Character design by Hannah Copperman.