Directed Edge Launches Recommender Engine Public Beta!

It’s an exciting day for us at Directed Edge.  Today we’re finally putting our Wikipedia-based technology preview out there for people to play with.  Before you click over to it, here’s a little about what you’re looking at.

As our name implies, we’re graph theory nerds.  We look at the roughly 60 million links between the 2.5 million English Wikipedia pages, and with a few extra cues from the content, figure out  pages related to the current one and put that in a little box in the upper left (as evident from the image on our home page).  In some cases, if we’re able to pick out what sort of page it is, we also drop in a second box with just other pages of the same type.

Finding related pages in Wikipedia isn’t fundamentally what Directed Edge is about.  We’ve got a super-fast in-house graph storage system that makes it possible to do interesting stuff with graphs quickly, notably figure out which pages are related.  We’ve already got a couple of pilot customers lined up and will be working with a more in the next weeks to analyze their sites and figure out how things are related there.  We’ve got a prototype of our web-services API that they’ll be using to send us break-downs of how stuff’s connected on their site and we’ll send back what we hope are some pretty groovy recommendations.

There are dozens of things in the pipe for us:  ways to make recommendations better, ways to make the Wikipedia demo cooler, things customers want to see in our web services that we’d previously not thought of, and we could ramble on that for a while, but there are a few things that are on the very near horizon that didn’t quite make it into this round:

  • An open web-services API for accessing the recommendations from our Wikipedia demo.  This will be a stripped down, read-only version of our commercial API usable in web mash-ups.
  • Better tagged (i.e. music, movies, authors, companies) recommendations.  Support for tagged articles was one of the last features that made it into the current demo, and we’ve got some plans for improving the results for those.
  • Pulling in non-English Wikipedia variants.  We’ll probably start with German and French.
  • More info about our commercial web-services API.  We’re still nailing down some of the details, but as soon as we freeze the API for the first customers, we’ll add more docs to the site.

If you subscribe to our news feed you’ll see immediately when those services go live.  Even though we’re still in the beta-phase and are only accepting a limited number of customers, if you think you’d be interested in using our engine for your site down the line, we’d encourage you to register now since we’ll be offering a discount for our commercial services to everyone who fills out their info in the contact form during the beta phase.

More soon.  Enjoy!

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