Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Metasearch Engine Leaves Google, Yahoo Crawling

27.03.2009
One day in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to type a query into an online search engine and have it deliver not Web pages that may contain an answer, but just the answer itself, says Weiyi Meng, a professor of computer science at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

For instance, imagine typing in “Who starred in the film Casablanca?” The search engine would respond with “Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.”

Not impressed?

Try asking a more nuanced question, such as “What do Americans think of universal health care?” A search engine will create a report indicating trends in opinion based on what has been posted to the Web.

Search engines may eventually be used to conduct polling and even help sort fact from fiction, said Meng, who is helping to make such possibilities a reality, both through his research and as president of a company called Webscalers.

The way Meng sees it, big search engines such as Google and Yahoo are fundamentally flawed. The Web has two parts: the surface Web and the deep Web. The surface Web is made up of perhaps 60 billion pages. The deep Web, at some 900 billion pages, is about 15 times larger.

Google, which relies on a “crawler” to examine pages and catalog them for future searches, can search about 20 billion pages. Web crawlers follow links to reach pages and often miss content that isn’t linked to any other page or is in some way “hidden.”

Meng, along with researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has helped pioneer large-scale metasearch-engine technology that harnesses the power of small search engines to come up with results that are more accurate and more complete.

“Most of the pages on the deep Web aren’t directly ‘crawlable.’ We want to connect to small search engines and reach the deep Web,” he said. “That’s the idea. Many people have the misconception that Google can search everything, and if it’s not there it doesn’t exist. But we should be able to retrieve many times more than what Google can search.”

Not only can a metasearch engine probe deeper, it can also offer the latest information.

“In principle,” Meng said, “small guys are much better able to maintain the freshness of their data. Google has a program to ‘crawl’ all over the world. Depending on when the crawler has last visited your server, there’s a delay of days or weeks before a new page will show up in that search. We can get fresher results.”

The concept is not new. In fact, the first metasearch engine was built in 1994.
“The big difference between our technology and the ones pursued by other people is that most of the other technologies do the metasearching on top of a small number of general-purpose search engines, such as Yahoo, Google or MSN,” Meng explained. “We have a completely different perspective. We want to build large-scale metasearch engines on top of many small search engines.”

The Web has millions of search engines at businesses, universities, newspapers and other organizations. Since 1997, and with continued funding from the National Science Foundation, Meng and his collaborators have found ways to run queries across multiple search engines and sort through the results.

Webscalers is based in the Start-Up Suite at Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex, which is home to several young companies that have their roots in faculty inventions.

“If the Web keeps on growing, a company like Google may run out of resources to crawl all of those pages,” said Vijay V. Raghavan, vice president of Webscalers and a faculty member at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “We won’t have that problem. We will scale much better.”

Webscalers’ technology could be useful for large organizations with many divisions. For example, Webscalers has developed a prototype that would allow a search of all 64 campuses in the State University of New York system as well as SUNY’s central administration.

“People can use it to find collaborators,” Meng said. “It could also help prospective students find programs they’re interested in.”

The technology could be adapted to large companies or even the government, Meng said.

Challenges for large-scale metasearch engines include determining which search engines are the best for a given query, automating the interaction with search engines as well as organizing the search results.

Meng hopes to build a grand metasearch engine one day that would integrate all of the 1 million small search engines into a single system. “There are still a lot of significant challenges in creating a system of such magnitude,” he said, “but I am optimistic that such a metasearch engine can be built.”

Try out the concept online
Webscalers has already launched several metasearch products:
• The first is a news metasearch engine called AllinOneNews. Available at www.allinonenews.com, it connects to 1,800 news sources in 200 countries. That’s the largest metasearch engine in the world.

• Webscalers also offers MySearchView, a system that allows any user to create his or her own metasearch engine just by checking off a few options at www.mysearchview.com

Gail Glover | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.binghamton.edu
http://research.binghamton.edu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display
19.02.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering
19.02.2018 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>