Clearer controls over entity lookup strategies

Today we are making it easier for you to know how Wit finds entities in a sentence. Wit allows you to extract meaning from a user query as a list of entities. We employ various lookup strategies for entities, as described in our docs. Wit can use the following strategies to find entities in sentences:

  • predetermined keywords (keywords strategy)
  • patterns and positions in the sentence where certain words often appear (free-text strategy)
  • common characteristics of the sentence as a whole (trait strategy)

You usually don’t have to worry about lookup strategies, but sometimes it can come in handy to understand and tweak how Wit detects entities.

To keep Wit’s core experience robust and simple, we made these updates:

  • When you first validate a sample (either in Console or via the POST /samples API), Wit finds the right lookup for your entity: keyword, free-text, keyword & free-text or trait without you having to select it yourself.
  • If an entity is being misused (i.e. forgetting to highlight a keyword), Wit detects this and alerts you at validation time.
  • You can change the lookup strategy for a given entity in the Understanding tab, in a more intuitive way.
  • If you are about to update a lookup strategy, you will be prompted to confirm your decision, ensuring that you didn’t make the update unintentionally.

We’re happy to make these updates based on the feedback we’ve received from our community. Thank you for your support, and as always, we look forward to hearing how we can continue to improve your experience with Wit.

Team Wit