06169986 is referenced by 333 patents and cites 9 patents.

A search engine is disclosed which suggests related terms to the user to allow the user to refine a search. The related terms are generated using query term correlation data which reflects the frequencies with which specific terms have previously appeared within the same query. The correlation data is generated and stored in a look-up table using an off-line process which parses a query log file. The table is regenerated periodically from the most recent query submissions (e.g., the last two weeks of query submissions), and thus strongly reflects the current preferences of users. Each related term is presented to the user via a respective hyperlink which can be selected by the user to submit a modified query. In one embodiment, the related terms are added to and selected from the table so as to guarantee that the modified queries will not produce a NULL query result.

Title
System and method for refining search queries
Application Number
9/411441
Publication Number
6169986 (A)
Application Date
October 1, 1999
Publication Date
January 2, 2001
Inventor
Timothy R Kohn
Seattle
WA, US
Joel R Spiegel
Woodinville
WA, US
Michael L Hamrick
Seattle
WA, US
Ruben E Ortega
Seattle
WA, US
Dwayne E Bowman
Woodinville
WA, US
Agent
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear
US
Assignee
Amazon com
WA, US
IPC
G06F 17/30
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