CTI Veriname

CTI Veriname Verisign advanced domain name suggestion services to sustain the .com and .net registrations
  • HES-SO Fribourg
  • Prof. Jean Hennebert
  • jean.hennebert@hefr.ch
  • Baptiste Wicht
  • Christophe Gisler
  • Machine learning
  • Domain name
  • suggestions
  • symbolic mappers
Our skills
Development of machine learning algorithms applied to linguistic data.
Porting of algorithms in production environments.
Provision of revolutionary ways t osuggest domain names, brand protection.

Our Partners:

  • Verisign
  • HES-SO//Fribourg – iCoSys
01/2013 – 08/2014

Verisign is the registry operator for .com and .net domains that represent more than 50% of the domains worldwide. Through the VERINAME CTI project, Verisign wants to develop new Name Suggestion services to sustain the .com and .net registrations. The targeted technologies will include natural language and speech technologies able to suggest good and similar sounding names as well as solutions for non-latin character languages.

The idea of the project is to leverage on large sets of linguistic data and on machine learning algorithms able to discover automatically pronunciation rules. Such rules are then used in “symbolic mappers” able to transform a grapheme representation into a phonetic representation and to propose probable alterations of the pronunciation. The mappers are then used to propose clients with new domain names that sound similar to their original search.


The analysis of linguistic information, coupled with machine learning techniques has the potential to provide revolutionary ways to help users find the domain name they are looking for. Verisign also envisions other use cases such as brand protection.

The HES-SO Fribourg is developing and benchmarking machine algorithms that are currently industrialized into production platform of Verisign.

Update news – January 2018. In the context of this project, we were able to fill several patent applications. We are now happy to announce that these four patents are now approved and validated. Both the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO) approved the patents. Verisign claimed the patents, but the invention is shared. The inventors of the patent are Baptiste Wicht and Jean Hennebert from the iCoSys institute and Vincent Raemy and Vincenzo Russo from Verisign.

  • Systems and methods for automatic phonetization of domain names
  • Construction of phonetic representation of a string of characters
  • Method for writing a foreign language in a pseudo language phonetically resembling native language of the speaker
  • Construction of a phonetic representation of a generated string of characters

All these patents are direct results of the Veriname project. In this project, we generated domain name suggestions based on the phonetic sound of a domain names. The idea being to generate domain names that sounds the same as an already taken domain (airmix could become rmix or rmics). Moreover, this new name suggestion technique is now used in production by Verisign.