The highly anticipated Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine underwent public testing over the weekend to see how well it will respond to a mainstream audience.

Feedback about the site has been largely positive, although some users have expressed frustration with persistent deficiencies and trouble getting their question across in a way the program can understand it.

For example, a query in Wolfram Alpha about New York returns a set of facts about the city - its population size, local time and weather are provided - and the city is plotted on a map.

But when a search is conducted on something a bit more subjective or technical, then the results don't always appear.

Wolfram Alpha's creator, British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram said that thanks to algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and some serious theoretical breakthroughs, the tool is able to understand even complex human language to provide the correct answer.