Algorithms and Lists

Learn about the search algorithms employed by Cognito Screening as well as the available lists.

Cognito’s watchlist screening system supports a wide variety of algorithms and languages to support common inconsistencies across both user inputs and underlying watchlist search data.

Supported Languages

SpanishSimplified ChineseGreek
PashtoThaiTraditional Chinese

Supported Algorithms

Phonetic similarityJesus ↔ Heyzeus ↔ Haezoos
Transliteration spelling differencesAbdul Rasheed ↔ Abd al-Rashid
NicknamesWilliam ↔ Will ↔ Bill ↔ Billy
Missing spaces or hyphensMaryEllen ↔ Mary Ellen ↔ Mary-Ellen
Titles and honorificsDr. ↔ Mr. ↔ Ph.D.
Truncated name componentsMcDonalds ↔ McDonald ↔ McD
Missing name componentsPhillip Charles Carr ↔ Phillip Carr
Out-of-order name componentsDiaz, Carlos Alfonzo ↔ Carlos Alfonzo Diaz
InitialsJ. E. Smith ↔ James Earl Smith
Names split inconsistently across database fieldsDick. Van Dyke ↔ Dick Van . Dyke
Same name in multiple languagesMao Zedong ↔ Мао Цзэдун ↔ 毛泽东 ↔ 毛澤東
Semantically similar namesEagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ↔ Eagle Drugs, Co.
Semantically similar names across languageNippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation ↔ 日本電信電話株式会社

Supported Watchlists

US – Office of Foreign Assets Control

  • Specially Designated Nationals List
  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders
  • Palestinian Legislative Council
  • Sectoral Sanctions Identifications
  • Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions
  • Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions
  • Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex List

US - Department of Justice

  • FBI Wanted List

US – Department of State

  • Nonproliferation Sanctions
  • AECA Debarred

Bureau of Industry and Security

  • Denied Persons List
  • Unverified List

UK – Her Majesty’s Treasury

  • Consolidated list

EU – European External Action Service

  • Consolidated list

AU – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

  • Consolidated list

CA – Government of Canada

  • Consolidated List of Sanctions


  • Red Notices for Wanted Persons List

United Nations

  • Consolidated list

Politically Exposed Persons

  • Politically Exposed Persons List
  • State Owned Enterprise List
  • CIA List of World Leaders

SG - Government of Singapore

  • Terrorists and Terrorist Entities

TR - Government of Turkey

  • Terrorist Wanted List
  • Domestic Freezing Decisions
  • Foreign Freezing Requests
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction