Is A Knowledge Graph-Related Acquisition In Yahoo’s Future?

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sdtechby Jennifer Zaino

Is SindiceTech about to be acquired by Yahoo? Just last month The Semantic Web Blog reported on the formal relaunch of the company’s activities following the finalization of its separation from its university incubation setting at the former DERI institute in Ireland. Now, according to the Sunday Independent, Yahoo – which the article says had originally planned on buying the company late last year but saw negotiations collapse – may resume talks on the matter.

Yahoo, the article says, “refused to comment on the Sindice-Tech deal, calling it as ‘rumour and speculation.’” SindiceTech CEO Giovanni Tummarello also says that he cannot comment on this. He did note, however, that media, search and advertising are prime sectors for employing Knowledge Graphs. “In scenarios where there is much more (semi-structured) information than one knows how to leverage right away, Big Data graph-like knowledge management and moving from search to relational and entity search is a common theme these days,” he wrote in an email to The Semantic Web Blog.

At last year’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference, Yahoo principal research engineer Nicolas Torzec discussed the company’s Knowledge Graph views during his presentation about the Yahoo! Knowledge Base, at the time composed of 10 million entities, 10 million relationships and 30 million properties. We reported then his noting the company’s focus on using its graph of entities — and the relations between them — to provide answers, not just links, to empower user experiences, especially in areas such as searching news, entertainment, and finance. Yahoo supports the effort by collecting, extracting and mining information about entities from multiple data sources; interlinking across objects and data sources; and performing type inferencing and entity disambiguation.

How SindiceTech could fit into the acquisition picture is via its focus on providing technology to aid organizations in implementing Knowledge Graph strategies. Its SIREn semistructured data search engine, Tummarello told us last month, “is very useful for Knowledge Graph scenarios.” SIREn 1.0, the engine behind the company’s web of data search engine, also enables the company’s relational faceted browser, PivotBrowser, which adds the relations dimension to realtime browsing, and is part of SindiceTech’s CloudSpace platform for enabling Big Data Knowledge Graphs.

The workflow engine supports data extraction, transformation, processing, and repurposing in production. “What we offer as a company is all these tools for private use that we collectively call the CloudSpace platform,” Tummarello explained then.

A SindiceTech acquisition would add a 38th company to the list of acquisitions Yahoo has made since Marissa Mayer became CEO. You can find a list of its previous acquisitions here, including NLP startup SkyPhrase; image recognition/machine learning startup LookFlow; image recognition service IQ Engines; and news aggregator Summly.

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