/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Monday, January 31, 2022

Effectively Organizing Information

A considerable claim to do this effectively. Out of USC ISI.  Looking for more info.

‘Information Is Powerful, But Only If We Can Organize It Right’New AI Potential Boon to Businesses

Greg Hardesty | January 19, 2022  in USC Viturbi

Algorithm created by USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) helps e-commerce companies better organize their products and makes it easier for customers to find what they want.

E-commerce sites are in a constant struggle to prevent from drowning in an ever-growing tsunami of information about the products they sell.

How can they best keep a handle on all that information, and, on the consumer side, how can potential customers make sure they can quickly and accurately get what they’re looking for?

The answer is by creating an effective and efficient taxonomy, a fancy word for a system used to classify information in a tree-like structure – think of the classic example of a company’s organizational chart listing the bigwig at the top and the titles of the people below indicating who reports to who.

That’s easy-peasy.

But when it comes to e-commerce, things can get complicated very quickly. New versions of products come out all the time, and people sometimes use different names to describe the same products.

The ongoing challenge for mega-retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as smaller companies, is to create and maintain a taxonomy that keeps their products organized in the most efficient way and makes it easy for website visitors to navigate and find what they want. The information the big players manage is staggering: According to Google, Amazon currently sells more than 350 million products (including third-party sellers) and Walmart currently sells 75 million.

Mayank Kejriwal


USC Viterbi’s Mayank Kejriwal, a research assistant professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and a research lead at the USC Information Sciences Institute, has created an algorithm he says allows e-commerce and other web-based companies to quickly and cheaply build a taxonomy that can be easily customized to their needs.

Think of the tool this way, he said: Imagine you’re a kid. Now imagine you’re given thousands of pieces of paper with an item written on each piece, such as “baby powder,” “Coca-Cola,” “PlayStation” and “T-shirt.”

Now, suppose you’re asked to build a “tree” out of these pieces of paper so that you could easily find any item when asked.

How long would it take you to build that tree?

“Our system does it in seconds,” Kejriwal said, “and our trees are of similar quality to any that you might be able to build.”

Such lightning-fast speed can save companies money, he added.

The AI tool, Kejriwal explained, has the potential to benefit large advertising companies like Google and media companies that have to “match” product categories to customers so they can get to the right websites, as well as aggregators like eBay and Pinterest where there are many independent third-party sellers. Even if such companies build a taxonomy manually, it would be constantly changing.  .... '

No comments: