Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Program

Engineering & Computer Science MS

First Advisor

Roy Villfane

Abstract

Imagine that all the information in the entire world written in every known language, and every graphic image, video clip, or photograph copied digitally was available at your fingertips. This vast amount of data could then be reduced to digital data packets and stored in miniscule form on computer hard drives that are all connected by several other centrally located larger machines, called servers. However, searching for data in a vast system of inter-connected computers is virtually impossible using human faculties and is a far more intricate process than perusing book titles using the library's Dewey Decimal System. In order to find five or six pieces of information out of a global network of servers, individuals can explore the advantages of meta-search engines, which understand the "language" of each computer on the network and can quickly access global databases to respond to user inquiries, based on certain keywords or phrases. The advantages of meta-search engines are that they are able to "talk" to other search engines, which contain relevant data. The language that they speak is HTML, or hypertext markup language, a set of electronic codes that enables computers to read, translate, transmit, and store data accessible to the entire world. Every Web page is written in HTML using meta "tags," which are directives to client computers describing the kind of document stored. By reading meta tags, search engines are able to electronically "skim" through vast databases to select data that match a user's inquiry. However, the existing meta-search engines are still facing issues in providing accurate results that match user queries due to the extremely fast growth and the complexity of information that is stored in the Web server. This thesis proposes a new algorithm that will re-rank the Web search results from some of the best existing meta-search engines. This algorithm can be implemented to form a meta-meta-search engine. As a result, the new search engine will have the capability of listing a more reliable rank list with higher accuracy in comparison to the existing search engines and meta-search engines.

Subject Area

Search engines., Web search engines., Database searching., Algorithms.

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