Yahoo! has been awarded a patent for handling abbreviations in web queries. The idea is to build a dictionary or abbreviations related to query terms. Below is a description of the patent's functions:
A method for handling abbreviations in web queries includes building a dictionary of a plurality of possible word expansions for a plurality of potential abbreviations related to query terms received or anticipated to be received by a search engine; accepting a query including an abbreviation; expanding the abbreviation into one of the plurality of word expansions if a probability that the expansion is correct is above a threshold value, wherein the probability is determined by taking into consideration a context of the abbreviation within the query, wherein the context including at least anchor text; and sending the query with the expanded abbreviation to the search engine to generate a search results page related to the query.
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