Browse Prior Art Database

Phonetic based correction of e-mail addresses

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198112D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-26
Document File: 3 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Many times e-mail addresses are conveyed verbally (in person or over the phone). For example Sally told Bob here new e-mail address: sallyrocks@mail.com. But Bob heard salirox@mail.com. He sends her an e-mail message that returns with User unknown (state 14) error message. Bob doesn't want to call Sally again until he has exhausted more options to get the address right. Our solution is that the mail system analyzes the e-mail address for common phonetic mistakes (for example gerry and jerry in English, or ofer and opher in Hebrew). The system can now present the user with a list of possible corrections. It can go even further and try to check if the correct users are in the system.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Page 1 of 3

Many times e-mail addresses are conveyed verbally (in person or over the phone). For example Sally told Bob here new e-mail address: sallyrocks@mail.com. But Bob heard salirox@mail.com. He sends her an e-mail message that returns with User unknown (state 14) error message. Obviously Bob has misspelled Sally's e-mail address. He is pretty sure that the domain is correct (it is a well known e-mail provider) so he has probably Bob doesn't want to call Sally again until he has exhausted more options to get the address right.

Currently, there is no known solution to this problem. Correcting misspelling of web sites is common and is based on browsing history and web searches. However, the problem of misspelled e-mail addresses is different as the e-mail is new and hasn't been used before by the sender.

    When a new e-mail address returns with a user unknown error, the mail system analyzes the e-mail address for common phonetic mistakes (for example gerry and jerry in English, or ofer and opher in Hebrew). The system can now present the user with a list of possible corrections. It can go even further and try to check if the correct users are in the system by (

what?

is there some kind of ping for this?).

The user then chooses from the list. The correction can be on the user name or domain name. if the domain name is a known mail service (such as gmail.com, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, ...) or a known corporation or organization (intel.com, ibm.com, acm.org, ...) the focus will be on the user name. In other cases the system may try to correct the domain as well (i.e. suggest country based suffixes or .org instead of .com).

The advantages of this system are:
1. Supplies the user with a list of suggestions so no new error prone typing is necessary.
2.

Verifies that these user names exist in the addressed domain.

    Phonetic based errors
The errors are usually caused by hearing a word that can be spelled in several ways. For example in English:
Gerry or Jerry? Danny or Dani? Stuart or Stewart? John or Jon?

In other languages the problem is even more complex. For example in Hebrew:

Opher and Ofer or Offer? Shachar or Shahar? Itzhak or Yitzhak or Yitshak or Itzchak (or any other combination)? Pikado or Piquado? Sela or Selah?

Typographical based errors
Many times e-mail addresses are filled out in written forms. This causes a new category of errors. For example:
n is interchanged with h I (upper-case i) is interchanged with l (lower-case L). u is interchanged with v

This can also happen when e-mails are sent as text-messages to small screen cell devices. It can even happen when an address is sent in the body of another e-mail and is typed in instead of copy/paste being used.

Domain based errors
E-mail addresses may also contain wrong domain names. The error might be phonetic or typographical or it might be based on a wrong assumption:
.com instead of .org or .net or .gov .com instead of .co.il (commercial suffix in Israel)

Page 2 of 3

.edu.il instead of ac.il (...