How Google Views Predictive Models
A series of recently published and granted patents provide insight into how Google's engineers view predictive modeling.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave a handful of Google engineers the nod on a series of three patents focused on predictive modeling. The patents describe a series of predictive tasks ranging from predictive navigation to analytics. The patents are related to integration of predictive models and software applications.
The patents are titled Predictive Model Application Programming Interface, Predicting User Navigation Events, Predictive Analytical Data Selection, and Predictive Analytical Modeling Accuracy Assessment.
One of the more interesting patents points to predictive modeling, a method that relies on predictive analysts to create a statistical model that predict behavior. Forecasting trends requires lots of data. Two of the patents refer to training data models to better predict trends.
During the recent U.S. presidential electronics we saw predictive modeling expand from ad targeting to forecasting the elections in search results. It's all about harnessing the power of data.
Google's predictive modeling accuracy assessment and data selection patents explain a method for assessing the accuracy of the model. Google describes how the "predictive model repository includes multiple updateable trained predictive models which are each associated with an accuracy score that represents an estimation of the accuracy of the trained predictive model."
The patent, Predicting User Navigation Events, provides a method to speed search query processing. Delays in retrieving information can cause the person searching for content to go elsewhere. The act of serving up information may happen nearly instantaneously, but a delay still exists as the technology sends a request for data from the host, sending it to the client, and rendering the content in the browser.
No matter how quickly information serves up in queries, "the act of browsing the Web is not instantaneous." The patent explains that while high-speed Internet access may limit this delay to a few seconds, even the few-second delay can add up to thousands of man-hours of lost productivity each year.