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Cognito: What is it?

Cognito is a software 'engine' (in technical terms, a hierarchical-object database), which is able to store and manipulate complex information about a wide range of items. In particular, it has the ability to perform 'fuzzy' matches between stored items, by comparing their properties, and then to make intelligent judgments about their overall degree of similarity.

This makes it well suited to applications that involve complex user profiles, such as personalisation systems, as well as those that require judgments to be made on behalf of users, such as intelligent Agent systems.

How it applies to VeriClip

If Cognito were the operating system, VeriClip would be the application that runs on it. VeriClip makes use of Cognito's unique capabilities in two ways. Firstly, it uses Cognito's profiling ability to build a sophisticated understanding of each Agent's specific area of interest. Secondly, it uses Cognito's 'fuzzy matching' process to judge the relevance of each story it finds to the Agent's interests.

A key feature of Cognito's approach to personalisation is that it happens 'in the background', by observing the user's behaviour, instead of requiring him or her to provide explicit personalisation information. In the VeriClip application, Cognito observes which stories a user chooses to follow up by clicking on the associated links. It then performs a textual analysis operation on the stories in question, and adds the results to the relevant Agent's profile. In this way, the Agent dynamically 'homes in on' and 'tracks' a user's interests.

The future of Cognito

The Cognito engine itself is very flexible and scalable. It would appear that this robust and responsive engine could power many other applications where fuzzy matching and hierarchical judgment calls are needed, without the limitations inherent in conventional technologies.

VeriClip is the first Internet application of Cognito. Predix Communications, the developers, are presently exploring new personalisation applications to further enhance the user's experience of the Internet.