Photo of Ilya SegalovichYandex, the leading Internet search service in Russia, has lost its co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ilya Segalovich. Segalovich, the company reports, had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and was responding well to treatment before unexpectedly succumbing to complications. DBpedia already has accounted for the news, as has Freebase.

Yandex’ portfolio of search technologies include everything from its method of machine learning, dubbed Matriksnet, to its Spectrum query statistics that analyzes a 5 billion query search log to find ‘objects’ in queries, categorize them in 60 categories, and map each query into one of possible ‘user intents’ according to a category of the object. It also, of course, signed on to support schema.org a couple of years back to leverage webmasters’ use of the structured data markup in its search results.

While it has proceeded in advance of schema.org’s progress on fronts like actions with its interactive snippets called Islands (see story here), and it has yet to support all data types of schema.org, its web site continues to recommend its use of schema.org markup as a new, more complete and actively developing standard.

Early this summer, Yandex debuted Marker for users’ email, which uses its machine-learning and fact-extraction technology to determine the type of correspondence a user has received and then to offer up the right tools for working with it. (See ours story here.)

Among his other work, Segalovich helped create the National Corpus of Russian Language (Ruscorpora), texts representing standard Russian that are semantically tagged to facilitate searching, and ROMIP, the Russian Information Retrieval Evaluation Seminar. Its goal, it says, is to “provide a basis for independent evaluation of information retrieval methods, aimed to be used for Russian language text retrieval, and to increase communication and exchange of ideas among Russian researchers and developers working in the area of information retrieval.”

“Ilya’s contributions to the founding and development of Yandex were invaluable,” said Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh in a statement about Segalovich’s death. “We know that the strong technical team Ilya helped to build will carry on the work Ilya cared so passionately about.” Segalovich was 48 years old.