Background & Main Concept


PerFedPat is an interactive patent search system based on the federated search approach and the ezDL framework. PerFedPat provides core services to search, using a federated method, multiple online patent resources (currently Espacenet, Google patents, Patentscope and the MAREC collection), thus providing parallel access to multiple patent sources. PerFedPat hides complexity from the end user who uses a common single query tool for querying all patent datasets at the same time. PerFedPat provides cores services such as Boolean and fielded search, merging, grouping and filtering of results, and offers support for query history and search sessions. The second innovative feature of PerFedPat is that it has a pluggable and extensible architecture and it enables the use of multiple search tools which are integrated in PerFedPat. Currently tools are integrated for IPC classification search, faceted navigation, clustering of search results and machine translation of queries. As a result the system is able to provide a rich, personalised information seeking experience for different types of patent searches, potentially exploiting techniques from diverse areas such as distributed information retrieval, semantic search, machine learning and human-computer interaction. The system is available for download from the internet.


Although PerFedPat relies on existing patent search systems to execute the core retrieval task, from an architectural point of view PerFedPat is innovative using the Federated Search approach and goes beyond the state of the art in patent search systems in terms of scale, heterogeneity as well as extensibility as it is based on a service-oriented, message-centric architecture able to integrate data sources into new, more useful ways. From that perspective the PerFedPat system is the first open architecture data aggregator for patent information, and its contribution is to show that the sum of the utilities provided by each search tool could be really bigger than the single utilities and enabling possibilities lie in an integrated approach for patent data delivery and intelligent processing and presentation.

Scale: The PerFedPat patent search system is in principle more scalable than other systems since it is based on a highly distributed method for accessing patent information sources, each using its own storage, processing, and searching capabilities.

Heterogeneity: Different data sources, search tools and UIs can be combined in a non-predetermined way, non over-engineered method, as far as they abide by the PerFedPat framework.

Extensibility: The PerFedPat framework is not developed be a single turnkey one-size-fits-all solution, but instead is designed as a pluggable architecture in which it is easy to develop and deploy new components. The ezDL framework on which PerFedPat is based is easy to extend and is based on a service-oriented architecture.

Key publication:

Michail Salampasis & Allan Hanbury. PerFedPat: An Integrated Federated System for Patent Search. Accepted for publication in World Patent Information, Elsevier, 2014.


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