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A method for identifying alternative dates for incorrectly entered dates Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225954D
Publication Date: 2013-Mar-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

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A program is disclosed that resolves ambiguity or errors from human-input calendar dates. Context within the surrounding document body and utilisation of the current date is used to disambiguate dates which are entered that are not specified with a valid day, month, and year combination.

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A method for identifying alternative dates for incorrectly entered dates

A date is made up of 4 parts - Day, Date, Month, Year. Often when people are

writing an email or other document there maybe a discrepancy between some of the

parts, most commonly the Day and Date. This invention aims to assist users with removing these mistakes from documents.

    Many applications that require text entry such as word processors and email clients have a spell checking feature and often also a grammar checker as well. These features are great for improving the spelling and grammar of text, however they could be improved to assist the user with inconsistencies in dates. If a date is incorrectly entered it could be detected and alternatives offered to the user.

    The core idea of this invention is to determine what the user actually meant from the date that they have incorrectly entered. For example, if a user were to write Thursday 6th July 2012 into a document it is not clear if they meant Thursday 5th July 2012 or Friday 6th July 2012. They could also have meant a year when there

was a Thursday 6th July. The aim of this invention is to identify all of those alternatives that could be valid and provide a list to the user to confirm what they really meant. The list could be pruned to ensure that only sensible dates would be produced. For example if the next (or previous) Thursday 6th July didn't occur for 100 years for example, this would not be sensible to include in the list.

    The advantage if this invention is that it removes uncertainty and confusion from communications.

    The first step is to detect a date in a document. There are many ways to do this and as the Day, Date, Month and Year can only have a limited number of representations it is a trivial step. Even taking into consideration regional variations

where the components of the data may appear in any order, it is still trivial to identify a date.

    Once a date is detected it should be compared to the calendar to ensure that it is correct.

For example, Thursday 28th June 2012 is a correct date.

The following date would be flagged as a mistake that requires the user's

attention - Thursday 27th June 2011. When the user resolves this they may do so manually if they know the correct date, alternatively the system may provide some alternatives to choose from:
- Thursday 28th June 2012
- Wednesday 27th June 2012

    These examples show the date in a form that is rarely used. Quite often the date might be limited to a Day, Date, Month (eg Thursday 28th June) or in some cases just the Day and Date (eg. Thursday 28th).

In these...