Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Develop Techniques for Computing Google-Style Web Rankingsup to Five Times Faster

14.05.2003


Speed-up may make "topic-sensitive" page rankings feasible

Computer science researchers at Stanford University have developed several new techniques that together may make it possible to calculate Web page rankings as used in the Google search engine up to five times faster. The speed-ups to Google’s method may make it realistic to calculate page rankings personalized for an individual’s interests or customized to a particular topic.

The Stanford team includes graduate students Sepandar Kamvar and Taher Haveliwala, noted numerical analyst Gene Golub and computer science professor Christopher Manning. They will present their first paper at the Twelfth Annual World Wide Web Conference (WWW2003) in Budapest, Hungary, May 20-24, 2003. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education in all fields of science and engineering.

Computing PageRank, the ranking algorithm behind the Google search engine, for a billion Web pages can take several days. Google currently ranks and searches 3 billion Web pages. Each personalized or topic-sensitive ranking would require a separate multi-day computation, but the payoff would be less time spent wading through irrelevant search results. For example, searching a sports-specific Google site for "Giants" would give more importance to pages about the New York or San Francisco Giants and less importance to pages about Jack and the Beanstalk.

"This work is a wonderful example of how NSF support for basic computer science research, including applied mathematics and algorithm research, has impacts in daily life," said NSF program officer Maria Zemankova. In the mid-1990s, an NSF digital library project and an NSF graduate fellowship also supported Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they developed what would become the Google search engine.

To speed up PageRank, the Stanford team developed a trio of techniques in numerical linear algebra. First, in the WWW2003 paper, they describe so-called "extrapolation" methods, which make some assumptions about the Web’s link structure that aren’t true, but permit a quick and easy computation of PageRank. Because the assumptions aren’t true, the PageRank isn’t exactly correct, but it’s close and can be refined using the original PageRank algorithm. The Stanford researchers have shown that their extrapolation techniques can speed up PageRank by 50 percent in realistic conditions and by up to 300 percent under less realistic conditions.

A second paper describes an enhancement, called "BlockRank," which relies on a feature of the Web’s link structure-a feature that the Stanford team is among the first to investigate and exploit. Namely, they show that approximately 80 percent of the pages on any given Web site point to other pages on the same site. As a result, they can compute many single-site PageRanks, glue them together in an appropriate manner and use that as a starting point for the original PageRank algorithm. With this technique, they can realistically speed up the PageRank computation by 300 percent.

Finally, the team notes in a third paper that the rankings for some pages are calculated early in the PageRank process, while the rankings of many highly rated pages take much longer to compute. In a method called "Adaptive PageRank," they eliminate redundant computations associated with those pages whose PageRanks finish early. This speeds up the PageRank computation by up to 50 percent.

"Further speed-ups are possible when we use all these methods," Kamvar said. "Our preliminary experiments show that combining the methods will make the computation of PageRank up to a factor of five faster. However, there are still several issues to be solved. We’re closer to a topic-based PageRank than to a personalized ranking."

The complexities of a personalized ranking would require even greater speed-ups to the PageRank calculations. In addition, while a faster algorithm shortens computation time, the issue of storage remains. Because the results from a single PageRank computation on a few billion Web pages require several gigabytes of storage, saving a personalized PageRank for many individuals would rapidly consume vast amounts of storage. Saving a limited number of topic-specific PageRank calculations would be more practical.

The reason for the expensive computation and storage requirements lies in how PageRank generates the rankings that have led to Google’s popularity. Unlike page-ranking methods that rate each page separately, PageRank bases each page’s "importance" on the number and importance of pages that link to the page.

Therefore, PageRank must consider all pages at the same time and can’t easily omit pages that aren’t likely to be relevant to a topic. It also means that the faster method will not affect how quickly Google presents results to users’ searches, because the rankings are computed in advance and not at the time a search is requested.

The Stanford team’s conference paper and technical reports on enhancing the PageRank algorithm, as well as the original paper describing the PageRank method, are available on the Stanford Database Group’s Publication Server (http://dbpubs.stanford.edu/).

David Hart | National Science Foundation
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu/~sdkamvar/research.html
http://www.www2003.org/
http://dbpubs.stanford.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks
17.06.2019 | IMDEA Networks Institute

nachricht Concert of magnetic moments
14.06.2019 | Forschungszentrum Juelich

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>