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August 9th 2008 / Ville Tuulos

Aino - a Content-Based Search Engine

This package contains source code for the Aino search engine. In brief, Aino is a system for building optimized indices for documents made of discrete attributes (words). Once the index has been built, documents in the index can be ranked against queries using statistical measures based on attribute co-occurrences.

Aino was developed in the Complex System Computation (CoSCo) research group at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and University of Helsinki, as part of the project Search-In-a-Box (SIB). Our home page is at

I apologize that the package doesn't contain proper documentation (yet). However, the overall design of the system is described in my M.S. thesis, "Design and Implementation of a Content-Based Search Engine" that can be found at

As I'm fully responsible for the lacking documentation, you're very welcome to contact me directly if you have any questions about the package. Reach me at


This package contains the following subdirectories:

preproc/ Indexing pipeline. See wp/index/ to get an idea how
different programs work together. You need this stuff for building new indices from raw text documents.
index/ Query processing and ranking. index/dexvm.[c|h] is the core
interface for the index. You need this stuff for ranking documents in the index, given a query.
ainopy/ Python interface for the index. You need this stuff if you want to
use the indices in Python, which is currently the preferred way to use them.

lib/ Utility modules.

lang/ Snowball-library and modules related to language recognition and

wp/ Scripts for building distributed search engine for Wikipedia Scripts for building

utils/ Scripts used in compiling

examples/ An example script that shows how to rank documents using the Python


Aino depends on the following packages in Debian:

scons binutils-dev libjudy-dev python2.4-dev flex gcc libc6-dev

It should be easy to find the corresponding packages in other distros.

Aino uses a build system called Scons ( instead of traditional Makefiles. To compile the package, say

scons scons

(twice, really -- I'll fix it at some point..)

That's all for now. Happy hacking!

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