Patent Number: 6,324,534

Title: Sequential subset catalog search engine

Abstract: An electronic catalog search engine is configurable to optimize the searchprocess by identifying the desired item from the most advantageoussupplier, while efficiently utilizing computing resources. The searchengine comprises a configurable search and data subset creation mechanism.The system accepts search terms from a user, and then executes a sequenceof search strategies on subsets of the database which may include aproximity search, a word count search, and a fuzzy logic search. Subsetscan be searched in any order and different search strategies can beapplied to different subsets. The sequences are terminated when searchsteps have uncovered at least one match. Each database entry has acorresponding product category. A list of categories from each of thematching products is dynamically compiled and displayed to the user. Theuser can page through the list of displayed matches, or alternatively cancreate a subset of the list by selecting only the items within one of thecategories. In addition, the user can further refine the list of items byselecting those items having a particular attribute. The invention has theadvantage that users with a wide range of skills and/or familiarity withproducts can quickly find the products that they need. The system has theadditional feature of creating electronic requisitions for the productslisted in the database.

Inventors: Neal; Michael Renn (Superior, CO), Wilmsen; James Michael (Westminster, CO), Beall; Christopher Wade (Lafayette, CO)


International Classification: G06F 17/30 (20060101); G06F 017/30 ()

Expiration Date: 11/27/2014