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Search engine content analysis

King, John Douglas (2008) Search engine content analysis. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Search engines have forever changed the way people access and discover knowledge, allowing information about almost any subject to be quickly and easily retrieved within seconds. As increasingly more material becomes available electronically the influence of search engines on our lives will continue to grow. This presents the problem of how to find what information is contained in each search engine, what bias a search engine may have, and how to select the best search engine for a particular information need. This research introduces a new method, search engine content analysis, in order to solve the above problem. Search engine content analysis is a new development of traditional information retrieval field called collection selection, which deals with general information repositories. Current research in collection selection relies on full access to the collection or estimations of the size of the collections. Also collection descriptions are often represented as term occurrence statistics. An automatic ontology learning method is developed for the search engine content analysis, which trains an ontology with world knowledge of hundreds of different subjects in a multilevel taxonomy. This ontology is then mined to find important classification rules, and these rules are used to perform an extensive analysis of the content of the largest general purpose Internet search engines in use today. Instead of representing collections as a set of terms, which commonly occurs in collection selection, they are represented as a set of subjects, leading to a more robust representation of information and a decrease of synonymy. The ontology based method was compared with ReDDE (Relevant Document Distribution Estimation method for resource selection) using the standard R-value metric, with encouraging results. ReDDE is the current state of the art collection selection method which relies on collection size estimation. The method was also used to analyse the content of the most popular search engines in use today, including Google and Yahoo. In addition several specialist search engines such as Pubmed and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were analysed. In conclusion, this research shows that the ontology based method mitigates the need for collection size estimation.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 26241
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Li, Yuefeng
Keywords: web intelligence, ontology, hierarchal classification, taxonomy, collection selection, search engines, data mining
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Software Engineering & Data Communications
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 09 Jul 2009 11:22
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2013 14:33

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