A Multilingual European Federated Search Service


The EuroSearch project aims to help restore the linguistic and cultural equilibrium on the Web by building a pan-European federation of national search and categorization services. Initially comprising services from Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, the EuroSearch federation will constitute a distributed, multilingual searching service, permitting users to enter queries in their own, or their preferred language, and to carry out search and information retrieval over some or all of the federation's national sites. Each national site will be responsible for maintaining and operating a search service dedicated to its own language, so that the needs of each language community will be catered for by native speakers of that language.

At the same time, particular attention will be paid to ensuring that the Eurosearch framework is open and extensible to countries and services which are not currently represented, while the consortium will actively promote the federation concept with a view to future enlargement.

The Eurosearch federation will be supported, in this important and highly competitive area, by enhancements to existing services which will improve the quality of Web search and information retrieval. In addition to a common user interface, to be implemented in each local language, together with mechanisms for automatically redirecting queries to the appropriate partners according to user language, profile, and stated requirements, the project will also develop techniques which allow for more subject- oriented querying of information via the automatic classification of Web information according to its content, and will also cross language retrieval, where a query expressed in one language can retrieve information expressed in a different language.

The project will therefore make a concrete contribution to the realisation of an open, multilingual Information Society, by simplifying and extending access to Web information in and across a number of different European languages. On the one hand, information providers will benefit in that their information is made accessible to the widest possible audience, irrespective of the language in which it is expressed, while on the other seekers of information will benefit from a more congenial access to information, adapted to their own cultural and linguistic environment.