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WEST UNVEILS NEW SEARCH TECHNOLOGY

 WEST UNVEILS NEW SEARCH TECHNOLOGY
 NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- West Publishing Company recently


unveiled WIN, the "next generation" of online search technology. WIN -- "WESTLAW is Natural" -- provides researchers with a revolutionary new way to retrieve relevant documents.
 West Publishing Company, headquartered in Eagan, Minn., is the nation's premier legal publisher, supplying legal professionals with both print and electronic source materials, including WESTLAW(R), the computer-assisted legal research service, and West CD-ROM Libraries(TM).
 "West has made information industry history with this breakthrough," said Dwight D. Opperman, president and CEO of West Publishing Company. "This search strategy frees researchers from learning computer language, and allows them to enter their search request in plain English. The power of the computer translates the search and retrieves relevant documents. There is nothing like this in any other online system."
 "One of the strengths that distinguishes WESTLAW is our Key Numbers and headnotes -- editorial enhancements that have been part of West products for nearly 100 years. Those editorial enhancements become even stronger with this new search system," said Opperman.
 At its introduction, WIN is available in case law databases on WESTLAW. It is expected that WIN will be usable in statute databases in the coming months, with expansion to additional material to follow.
 WIN will be available to the top 500 law firms on Oct. 1. Additional access will be in phases, allowing WESTLAW field representatives an opportunity to comprehensively demonstrate the new system to all customers.
 WIN
 THE NATURAL WAY TO ACCESS INFORMATION
 WHAT IS WIN?
 WIN is the acronym for "WESTLAW is Natural" and it represents a technological breakthrough in computer-assisted research. Based on techniques drawn from Probability Theory and Automatic Natural Language Understanding, WIN enables computer-assisted researchers to enter Natural Language descriptions instead of the formal queries associated with the traditional Boolean retrieval method.
 HOW DOES WIN WORK?
 Once a Natural Language description is entered, the computer identifies the concepts from the description and makes a statistical comparison of those concepts to the documents in the database. The top rated documents, equal to the number of documents requested by the user, are retrieved. The first ranked document is the one that contains the concepts that most closely match the concepts in the description entered. The second document is the second most likely, and so on. A document will be ranked higher, that is, it will more closely match the entered concepts if:
 1) The concepts appear more often in the document
 2) The concepts appear less often in the database.
 Paragraphs of the documents are also ranked according to their likelihood of matching the concepts in the Natural Language description. If BEST is entered, the highest rated paragraph of the retrieved document is displayed.
 Natural Language descriptions can be restricted by date, court, judge, or attorney, and synonyms can be added by using a new online thesaurus.
 -0- 9/21/92
 /CONTACT: Dorothy Molstad of West Publishing, 612-687-7617, for additional background information./ CO: West Publishing Company ST: Minnesota IN: PUB SU: PDT


AL -- MN098 -- 1890 09/21/92 17:25 EDT
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Date:Sep 21, 1992
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