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My team and I are developing a search box which will allow for more than just searching. The goal is to allow users to do not only complex queries, but also use the box for go-tos and some calculations. For example:

  • new request (would go to the new request page)
  • super nintendos (find all super nintendos)
  • John Smith (search for people named John Smith)
  • John Smith in building 3124 (people named John Smith in building 3124)
  • property owned by John Smith in building 3124 (I think you get the idea)
  • 138.96.58.0/24 (show the ips for the subnet for the mask)

Think Google's search but dumbed down and specific to a web application. Internally we are referring to it as omni search as it feels like something more than "advanced" search. Is there a name for this type of search? Are we following a particular design pattern without knowing its name?

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4 Answers

More generally, you may see this referred to as semantic search, which tries to establish the meaning of words in a query.

Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.

Source: Wikipedia

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+1 for citing a source for this term –  JonW May 1 '13 at 8:36
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It is usually referred to as "unified search", which is both a name and a general description for what it is. The term is used by many companies, including Zoho and Linkedin.

enter image description here

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Chrome and Firefox do something similar in what was once called the address bar. They now refer to it as the omnibox and awesome bar, respectively. Hopefully someone will confirm my memory on those terms.

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Yeah we totally lifted the name from Chrome, but didn't know if Google had lifted it from somewhere else. –  ahsteele May 1 '13 at 4:20
    
Not that I'm aware of. But it's not a particularly original name either. Just reasonable language awareness ;) –  plainclothes May 1 '13 at 4:30
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They call it Graph search at Facebook

enter image description here

At Apples it goes by the name of Unified Smart Search Field


For your concern, there is a fine article about search research at Google and their secret goal :-).

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Graph Search is more of a Facebook specific term and not a generic one which could be / should be used in other circumstances. –  Mohit May 1 '13 at 10:37
    
That was just my two cents so say the vocable has yet to be found. –  Gildas Frémont May 1 '13 at 10:42
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