Metamorph Application Program Interface Overview

"Build the power of Metamorph into your application"

Metamorph is the only REAL concept based text retrieval product on the market today. In its stand-alone form it acts as a research assistant that provides its user with an easy query interface while under the hood it is performing some of the most complex text search techniques in the field.

What is a Metamorph Search?

Metamorph searches for some combination of "lexical sets" within the bounds of two lexical delimiters. The idea of using set logic is very important to the way the software works.

When people communicate to each other they rarely use exactly the same vocabulary when trying to communicate a common idea. Typically, concepts are communicated by stringing combinations of abstract meanings together to form a concise idea. For example, if you were trying communicate the idea of a "nice person" to someone else you might use any of the following forms:

  • nice guy

  • pleasing chap

  • agreeable character

  • excellent human being

  • exceptionally fine person

While there are subtle differences in each of these phrases, the underlying concept is the same. It is also worth noting that by themselves the individual words in each phrase carry little indication of the whole idea. In a much larger sense, people string these types of concepts to form heuristically larger and more complex communications. One ordering of heuristic classifications might be as follows:

  • morpheme (a small token that can be built into a word)

  • word

  • phrase

  • clause

  • sentence

  • paragraph

  • chapter

  • book

  • collection

If you are searching for a concept within a body of text, you are actually searching for an intersection in meaning of your idea of what you are searching for with/and the body of information you are searching. Metamorph performs this search operation for you automatically.

Within Metamorph if you perform the query: Are there power struggles in the Near East?

Metamorph will find the individual "important" terms within your query. Then, it will look these terms up in a thesaurus that contains over 250,000 associations and it will expand each term to the set of things that mean approximately the same thing:

power
: ability, jurisdiction, regency, sovereignty, ascendency, justice, restraint, sway, authority, kingship, scepter, electrify, carte blanche, leadership, skill, clutches, majesty, strength, command, mastership, suction, control, mastery, superiority, domination, militarism, supremacy, dominion, monarchy, vigor, efficiency, nuclear, fission, weight, electricity, omnipotence, acquisition, energy, persuasiveness, capability, force, potency, faculty, hegemony, predominance, function, imperialism, preponderance, might, influence, pressure, reign,

struggle
: battle, contest, combat, flounder, competition, strive, conflict, effort, exertion, experience, fight, scuffle, strife, attempt, cash, endeavor, flight, oppose, agonize, compete

Near East
: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq

After it has built these sets, it will search through the text you have designated for a place in the text that has all three of the concepts present within some defined boundary (i.e.; sentence, line, paragraph, page, chapter, etc.). So, if it was instructed to search by sentence it would be able to retrieve the following:

Iraq's Sadam Hussein is being pressured by the U.N. to suspend his endeavors to annex Kuwait.

Please Note that Metamorph recognizes that "Near East" is a phrase that means the countries in the Near East and not the concepts of "near" and "east" individually. Also, it is not only looking for each of the words in the lists, but it is also looking for every word-form of the words in each of the lists.



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