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Silk from a sow's ear: extracting usable structure from the Web


In its current implementation, the World-Wide Web lacks much of the explicit structure and strong typing found in many closed hypertext systems. While this property probably relates to the explosive acceptance of the Web, it further complicates the already difficult problem of identifying usable structures and aggregates in large hypertext collections. These reduced structures, or localities, form the basis for simplifying visualizations of and navigation through complex hypertext systems. Much of the previous research into identifying aggregates utilize graph theoretic algorithms based upon structural topology, i.e., the linkages between items. Other research has focused on content analysis to form document collections. This paper presents our exploration into techniques that utilize both the topology and textual similarity between items as well as usage data collected by servers and page meta-information like title and size. Linear equations and spreading activation models are employed to arrange Web pages based upon functional categories, node types, and relevancy.


Pirolli, P. ; Pitkow, J .; Rao, R. Silk from a sow's ear: extracting usable structures from the Web. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 96); 1996 April 13 -18; Vancouver, BC, Canada. New York: ACM; 1996; 118-125.