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Doug Cutting

Doug's Blog

Doug Cutting has been working in the field of information retrieval for over fifteen years.

Beginning in 1988, he spent five years at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) developing novel approaches to information access. These included a high-performance retrieval engine, several innovative search paradigms, advanced linguistic analysis methods, and high-quality text summarization algorithms. This work resulted in seven publications and six issued patents. Some of these technologies are now marketed by Inxight.

In 1993 he moved to Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG). There he developed a state-of-the-art retrieval engine code-named V-Twin. This engine was to be a part of the Copland operating system, automatically indexing the content of all files as they are created so that the the entire file system could be efficiently searched at any time. Copland was cancelled, but V-Twin has been used in several other Apple products.

In April of 1996, Doug left Apple and joined Excite where he took over development of the core search technology. This included growing Excite's web index from two million to fifty million pages; substantially optimizing Excite's search performance; adding phrase-searching capabilities; and creating a thesaurus-like feature which suggests related terms to add to queries.

In the fall of 1997 he reduced his commitment at Excite to part-time so that he could write Lucene, an efficient, full-featured text search engine written in Java. In early 1998 he returned to Excite full-time for two more years. Lucene sat on the shelf for much of that time, and was made open-source in the spring of 2000.

Doug now works as chief architect and president of Nutch, a nascent effort to implement an open-source web search engine, which aims to provide a transparent alternative to commercial web search engines. The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are scientific and educational in nature: namely, to promote public access to search technology without commercial bias by:
* Providing free high-quality search software and its source code to the public; and
* Facilitating ongoing research and development of search technology in a public forum.

Doug also serves on Nutch's board of directors, together with Mitch Kapor, Tim O'Reilly, Peter Savich ( Overture Research), Raymie Stata (UCSC), and Graham Spencer ( Digital Consumer).

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