Challenging assumptions leads to Web searching insights

July 23, 2003

Lee Giles is not too interested in "surfing" the Web. "Mining" and "extraction" are terms more to his liking. Giles, the David Reese Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, has a particular interest in machine learning, or teaching computers to think for themselves, and what that can mean for search engine developers. His forays with colleagues into "the basic mathematics of the Web" have overturned some rather basic assumptions. For example, they recently showed that despite its bottom-up, heterogenous nature, the Web organizes itself neatly into "communities" of closely related pages. They've also challenged the notion that new Web sites are more likely to attach themselves to sites that already have many links.
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Last Updated March 19, 2009