The Orion search engine is designed to complement searches conducted on services such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search. Orion finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so users can pick the most relevant. "Results in the query are displayed immediately as expanded text extracts, giving the user the relevant information without having to go to the Web site — although the option is still available if desired," says Allon. The ability to see results that relate to the key word lets users gain additional pertinent information that may not have come to mind otherwise.

For example, a key-word search on the engineering resin "nylon" using a current search engine results in a list of over 100 hits. Seven, of the top 10, however, point users to Web sites selling women's hosiery. In contrast, reports Allon, with Orion when "nylon" is entered the search engine returns results with extracts containing the word nylon along with the associated keywords with the relevant text extracts — adipic acid, du Pont de Nemours, Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers, carbon, atoms, synthetic fibers, Nylon 6,6, and many more. Allon reports that a number of corporations have shown initial interest in implementing Orion for commercial use. For more information contact Ori Allon via e-mail: oria@cse.unsw.edu.au