Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Soundex history

Soundex - the True Story: "On 2 Apr 1918, Robert C. Russell of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia obtained a patent on a method for indexing which was based on the way a name was pronounced rather than how it was spelled. He did this by coding 8 phonetic sound types with a few additional rules. Together with Margaret K. Odell he obtained a second patent in 1922 with some variations. This they sold to various commercial and governmental organisations. It was taken up in a modified form in the 1930's by the Social Security Administration under a work creation scheme to extract certain data from the US Census and to index its records. It has also been used for immigration records and, more recently, for indexing, search engines and for spell checkers. In fact, as will be seen later, a number of variants of the original design have been used over the years."

Obsolete algorithm tangles terrorist/criminal watch lists: "Soundex technology is inexpensive, but federal officials and vendors agree that it is prone to mistakes, especially with foreign names. Soundex systems do not capture the punctuation of names in non-Roman alphabets and sometimes cannot track alternate spellings of a name.

“I consider Soundex yesterday’s technology,” said one federal official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is no excuse anymore for not having advanced systems when you can pull them right off the shelf.”"

name spelling algorithm -music -"spelling checker" - Google Search


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