Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New feature: Post feedback through the API

Following some customer requests, we added the ability to provide EVA with a feedback on its parsed results using a regular API call.

This feature offers users the ability to tell EVA that a particular API response was good, bad or partial, which in turn contributes to EVA's learning process and helps it improve faster.

The feedback is provided by adding a parameter, surprisingly called "feedback" with possible values of 0 - incorrect parse, 1 - partial parse, or 2 - good parse. Lets say you sent the text "fly to booohoooo" and think the result was not what you expected and is completely wrong - you should send an API call in the following format:
http://evature.com/api/v1.0?input_text=fly+to+booohoooo&rid=1234&site_code=example&locale=UK&feedback=0

If on the other hand you think the response was good, you would send the following feedback call:
http://evature.com/api/v1.0?input_text=fly+to+booohoooo&rid=1234&site_code=example&locale=UK&feedback=2

We also added the ability to provide us with comments which we can later analyze during EVA's supervised learning phase. Comments are added via a "comments" parameter:

http://evature.com/api/v1.0?input_text=fly+to+booohoooo&rid=1234&site_code=example&locale=UK&feedback=2&comments=booohooo+is+not+realy+a+location+so+well+done

Let us know what you think at info@evature.com

Happy holidays!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Won!

Evature won both the Internetional Category award AND the top Demo award at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit, as well as a runner up in the Emerging category.
It has been an amazing experience and the amount of excellent feedbacks in incredible.

Thanks to all of our partners - it is YOUR demos that made the difference.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New feature: Calculated departure times


When describing travel times in a text a user may specify either departure or arrival times.

For example "NY to London on Aug 15th" would be translated to "Depart NY to London on Aug15th", while "Hotel in London on Aug 15th" is understood as "Get a hotel in London, arriving Aug 15th".

This may seem immaterial, but in long haul flights this may actually result in date changes, especially when crossing the date line. Also users may ask specifically for arrival time, for example: "fly from London to NY on Monday, arriving no later than 10am".

Eva understands the precise meaning of the user's requests and specifies whether a given time is arrival or departure.

This however, added some complexity for our API customers, as in any travel request from A to B, they would need to check whether there is a departure time from A or arrival time to B and if the later is specified, calculate the departure time from A if needed (for example to search for flights).

We decided to simplify things and offer this service to our customers. Eva now calculates and presents departure times even when the user specified arrival times only. To distinguish the calculated times from actually specified times, there is a new flag, called "Calculated" which is set whenever a time is calculated and not directly derived from the text.

You can try out this feature by inputting "NY to London Arriving on Monday before 9am" at our tech demo at http://evature.com/demo.

You can also try that same sentence via the EVA API.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Geo Attributes

EVA recently learned a new Geo attribute based on end-user inputs and I thought this is a good opportunity to show off some of EVA's parsing capabilities.

3 nights in the heart of Rome
    - "The heart of" is parsed as a Geo Attribute - Center.

2-4 stars not far from the Eiffel Tower

    - "Not far from" is parsed as a Geo Attribute - Near.

couple with 3 kids, winter sun
    - "Winter Sun" is a fuzzy location (where it is warm in the winter).

Romantic weekend on an island somewhere
    - Apparently Island vacations are very popular.

Chateau with indoor pool somewhere in the mountains
    - Castles in the mountains. Sounds good!

Someplace hot for xmas
    - A warm holiday vacation.

Holiday in the sun for less than $200 per night
    - The Sunny Geo Attribute.

The number of attributes used by travelers to describe their needs is simply amazing and we are constantly amazed by the richness of the language.

Try our tech demo at http://evature.com/demo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Facebook Flight Search Powered By Evature

A cool mashup based on Evature's free text travel search engine debuted on the Facebook platform today. The new service enables users to type a Facebook message to find, and later book a flight without leaving the social networking site.
 
The tool, which is embedded onto a Facebook page, allows travelers to post simple flight search queries in their own terms, for example "Flight from Tel Aviv to Germany next Monday".



After the message is sent, EVA parses the text and analyzes the travel language request into a standardized flight search query. The query is later fed into a flight search engine and the best results (in terms of price and times) are posted as a Facebook comment to the original post, which sends an automatic alert to the Facebook poster.

EVA provides the flexibility to parse vagueness in the search text, allowing for searches with ambiguity in the dates, such as "next week", "the last 2 weeks of August", or even date-less searches. Other ambiguities supported are locations ("fly anywhere"), money ("for less than $300") and even flight attributes ("red-eye" / "non-stop"). This flexibility makes it useful for those just doing preliminary research.

The Facebook platform is challenging as the user interface is pure text and none of the widgets that power plain-vanilla web sites are applicable. In that respect this mashup is similar to the Twitter integration announced June. The Facebook and Twitter flight-search integrations are made possible by using EVA as the core engine, the travel language parser built by Evature.

Try the new tool at https://www.facebook.com/SkyscannerFlightSearch
and play with our tech demo at http://evature.com/demo