# Introduction to Information Retrieval

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1 Introduction to Information Retrieval IIR 19: Web Search Hinrich Schütze Center for Information and Language Processing, University of Munich /123

2 Overview 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 2/123

3 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 3/123

4 Indexing anchor text Anchor text is often a better description of a page s content than the page itself. Anchor text can be weighted more highly than the text on the page. A Google bomb is a search with bad results due to maliciously manipulated anchor text. [dangerous cult] on Google, Bing, Yahoo 4/123

5 PageRank Model: a web surfer doing a random walk on the web Formalization: Markov chain PageRank is the long-term visit rate of the random surfer or the steady-state distribution. Need teleportation to ensure well-defined PageRank Power method to compute PageRank PageRank is the principal left eigenvector of the transition probability matrix. 5/123

6 Computing PageRank: Power method x 1 x 2 P t (d 1 ) P t (d 2 ) P 11 = 0.1 P 12 = 0.9 P 21 = 0.3 P 22 = 0.7 t = xp t = xp 2 t = xp 3 t = xp 4... t = xp PageRank vector = π = (π 1,π 2 ) = (0.25,0.75) P t (d 1 ) = P t 1 (d 1 ) P 11 +P t 1 (d 2 ) P 21 P t (d 2 ) = P t 1 (d 1 ) P 12 +P t 1 (d 2 ) P 22 6/123

7 HITS: Hubs and authorities hubs authorities blogs.usatoday.com/sky aviationblog.dallasnews.com 7/123

8 HITS update rules A: link matrix h: vector of hub scores a: vector of authority scores HITS algorithm: Compute h = A a Compute a = A T h Iterate until convergence Output (i) list of hubs ranked according to hub score and (ii) list of authorities ranked according to authority score 8/123

9 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 9/123

10 Web search overview 10/123

11 Search is a top activity on the web 11/123

12 Without search engines, the web wouldn t work Without search, content is hard to find. Without search, there is no incentive to create content. Why publish something if nobody will read it? Why publish something if I don t get ad revenue from it? Somebody needs to pay for the web. Servers, web infrastructure, content creation A large part today is paid by search ads. Search pays for the web. 12/123

13 Interest aggregation Unique feature of the web: A small number of geographically dispersed people with similar interests can find each other. Elementary school kids with hemophilia People interested in translating R5R5 Scheme into relatively portable C (open source project) Search engines are a key enabler for interest aggregation. 13/123

14 IR on the web vs. IR in general On the web, search is not just a nice feature. Search is a key enabler of the web: financing, content creation, interest aggregation etc. look at search ads The web is a chaotic und uncoordinated collection. lots of duplicates need to detect duplicates No control / restrictions on who can author content lots of spam need to detect spam The web is very large. need to know how big it is 14/123

15 Take-away today Big picture Ads they pay for the web Duplicate detection addresses one aspect of chaotic content creation Spam detection addresses one aspect of lack of central access control Probably won t get to today Web information retrieval Size of the web 15/123

16 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 16/123

17 First generation of search ads: Goto (1996) 17/123

18 First generation of search ads: Goto (1996) Buddy Blake bid the maximum (\$0.38) for this search. He paid \$0.38 to Goto every time somebody clicked on the link. Pages were simply ranked according to bid revenue maximization for Goto. No separation of ads/docs. Only one result list! Upfront and honest. No relevance ranking,......but Goto did not pretend there was any. 18/123

19 Second generation of search ads: Google (2000/2001) Strict separation of search results and search ads 19/123

20 Two ranked lists: web pages (left) and ads (right) SogoTrade appears in search results. ap- SogoTrade pears in ads. Do search engines rank advertisers higher than non-advertisers? All major search engines claim no. 20/123

21 Do ads influence editorial content? Similar problem at newspapers / TV channels A newspaper is reluctant to publish harsh criticism of its major advertisers. The line often gets blurred at newspapers / on TV. No known case of this happening with search engines yet? 21/123

22 How are the ads on the right ranked? 22/123

24 How are ads ranked? First cut: according to bid price à la Goto Bad idea: open to abuse Example: query [treatment for cancer?] how to write your last will We don t want to show nonrelevant or offensive ads. Instead: rank based on bid price and relevance Key measure of ad relevance: clickthrough rate clickthrough rate = CTR = clicks per impressions Result: A nonrelevant ad will be ranked low. Even if this decreases search engine revenue short-term Hope: Overall acceptance of the system and overall revenue is maximized if users get useful information. Other ranking factors: location, time of day, quality and loading speed of landing page The main ranking factor: the query 24/123

27 Keywords with high bids According to \$69.1 mesothelioma treatment options \$65.9 personal injury lawyer michigan \$62.6 student loans consolidation \$61.4 car accident attorney los angeles \$59.4 online car insurance quotes \$59.4 arizona dui lawyer \$46.4 asbestos cancer \$40.1 home equity line of credit \$39.8 life insurance quotes \$39.2 refinancing \$38.7 equity line of credit \$38.0 lasik eye surgery new york city \$37.0 2nd mortgage \$35.9 free car insurance quote 27/123

28 Search ads: A win-win-win? The search engine company gets revenue every time somebody clicks on an ad. The user only clicks on an ad if they are interested in the ad. Search engines punish misleading and nonrelevant ads. As a result, users are often satisfied with what they find after clicking on an ad. The advertiser finds new customers in a cost-effective way. 28/123

29 Exercise Why is web search potentially more attractive for advertisers than TV spots, newspaper ads or radio spots? The advertiser pays for all this. How can the advertiser be cheated? Any way this could be bad for the user? Any way this could be bad for the search engine? 29/123

30 Not a win-win-win: Keyword arbitrage Buy a keyword on Google Then redirect traffic to a third party that is paying much more than you are paying Google. E.g., redirect to a page full of ads This rarely makes sense for the user. Ad spammers keep inventing new tricks. The search engines need time to catch up with them. 30/123

31 Not a win-win-win: Violation of trademarks Example: geico During part of 2005: The search term geico on Google was bought by competitors. Geico lost this case in the United States. Louis Vuitton lost similar case in Europe. See complaint.html It s potentially misleading to users to trigger an ad off of a trademark if the user can t buy the product on the site. 31/123

32 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 32/123

33 Duplicate detection The web is full of duplicated content. More so than many other collections Exact duplicates Easy to eliminate E.g., use hash/fingerprint Near-duplicates Abundant on the web Difficult to eliminate For the user, it s annoying to get a search result with near-identical documents. Marginal relevance is zero: even a highly relevant document becomes nonrelevant if it appears below a (near-)duplicate. We need to eliminate near-duplicates. 33/123

34 Near-duplicates: Example 34/123

35 Exercise How would you eliminate near-duplicates on the web? 35/123

36 Detecting near-duplicates Compute similarity with an edit-distance measure We want syntactic (as opposed to semantic) similarity. True semantic similarity (similarity in content) is too difficult to compute. We do not consider documents near-duplicates if they have the same content, but express it with different words. Use similarity threshold θ to make the call is/isn t a near-duplicate. E.g., two documents are near-duplicates if similarity > θ = 80%. 36/123

37 Represent each document as set of shingles A shingle is simply a word n-gram. Shingles are used as features to measure syntactic similarity of documents. For example, for n = 3, a rose is a rose is a rose would be represented as this set of shingles: { a-rose-is, rose-is-a, is-a-rose } We can map shingles to 1..2 m (e.g., m = 64) by fingerprinting. From now on: s k refers to the shingle s fingerprint in 1..2 m. We define the similarity of two documents as the Jaccard coefficient of their shingle sets. 37/123

38 Recall: Jaccard coefficient A commonly used measure of overlap of two sets Let A and B be two sets Jaccard coefficient: (A or B ) jaccard(a,a) = 1 jaccard(a,b) = A B A B jaccard(a,b) = 0 if A B = 0 A and B don t have to be the same size. Always assigns a number between 0 and 1. 38/123

39 Jaccard coefficient: Example Three documents: d 1 : Jack London traveled to Oakland d 2 : Jack London traveled to the city of Oakland d 3 : Jack traveled from Oakland to London Based on shingles of size 2 (2-grams or bigrams), what are the Jaccard coefficients J(d 1,d 2 ) and J(d 1,d 3 )? J(d 1,d 2 ) = 3/8 = J(d 1,d 3 ) = 0 Note: very sensitive to dissimilarity 39/123

40 Represent each document as a sketch The number of shingles per document is large. To increase efficiency, we will use a sketch, a cleverly chosen subset of the shingles of a document. The size of a sketch is, say, n = and is defined by a set of permutations π 1...π 200. Each π i is a random permutation on 1..2 m The sketch of d is defined as: < min s d π 1 (s),min s d π 2 (s),...,min s d π 200 (s) > (a vector of 200 numbers). 40/123

41 Permutation and minimum: Example document 1: {s k } document 2: {s k } 1 s 1 s 2 s 3 s 4 2 m 1 s 1 s 5 s 3 s 4 2 m 1 x 3 x k = π(s k ) x k = π(s k ) x 1 x 4 x 2 2 m 1 x 3 x 1 x 4 x 5 2 m 1 x 3 x k x 1 x 4 x 2 2 m 1 x 3 x k x 1 x 5 x 2 2 m min sk π(s k ) min sk π(s k ) 1 x 3 2 m 1 x 3 2 m We use min s d1 π(s) = min s d2 π(s) as a test for: are d 1 and d 2 near-duplicates? In this case: permutation π says: d 1 d 2 41/123

42 Computing Jaccard for sketches Sketches: Each document is now a vector of n = 200 numbers. Much easier to deal with than the very high-dimensional space of shingles But how do we compute Jaccard? 42/123

43 Computing Jaccard for sketches (2) How do we compute Jaccard? Let U be the union of the set of shingles of d 1 and d 2 and I the intersection. There are U! permutations on U. For s I, for how many permutations π do we have argmin s d1 π(s) = s = argmin s d2 π(s)? Answer: ( U 1)! There is a set of ( U 1)! different permutations for each s in I. I ( U 1)! permutations make argmin s d1 π(s) = argmin s d2 π(s) true Thus, the proportion of permutations that make min s d1 π(s) = min s d2 π(s) true is: I ( U 1)! = I U! U = J(d 1,d 2 ) 43/123

44 Estimating Jaccard Thus, the proportion of successful permutations is the Jaccard coefficient. Permutation π is successful iff min s d1 π(s) = min s d2 π(s) Picking a permutation at random and outputting 1 (successful) or 0 (unsuccessful) is a Bernoulli trial. Estimator of probability of success: proportion of successes in n Bernoulli trials. (n = 200) Our sketch is based on a random selection of permutations. Thus, to compute Jaccard, count the number k of successful permutations for < d 1,d 2 > and divide by n = 200. k/n = k/200 estimates J(d 1,d 2 ). 44/123

45 Implementation We use hash functions as an efficient type of permutation: h i : {1..2 m } {1..2 m } Scan all shingles s k in union of two sets in arbitrary order For each hash function h i and documents d 1,d 2,...: keep slot for minimum value found so far If h i (s k ) is lower than minimum found so far: update slot 45/123

46 Example d 1 d 2 s s s s s h(x) = x mod 5 g(x) = (2x +1) mod 5 min(h(d 1 )) = 1 0 = min(h(d 2 )) min(g(d 1 )) = 2 0 = min(g(d 2 )) Ĵ(d 1,d 2 ) = = 0 d 1 slot d 2 slot h g h(1) = g(1) = h(2) = g(2) = h(3) = g(3) = h(4) = g(4) = h(5) = g(5) = final sketches 46/123

47 Exercise d 1 d 2 d 3 s s s s h(x) = 5x +5 mod 4 g(x) = (3x +1) mod 4 Estimate Ĵ(d 1,d 2 ), Ĵ(d 1,d 3 ), Ĵ(d 2,d 3 ) 47/123

48 Solution (1) d 1 d 2 d 3 s s s s h(x) = 5x +5 mod 4 g(x) = (3x +1) mod 4 d 1 slot d 2 slot d 3 slot h(1) = g(1) = h(2) = g(2) = h(3) = g(3) = h(4) = g(4) = final sketches 48/123

49 Solution (2) Ĵ(d 1,d 2 ) = Ĵ(d 1,d 3 ) = Ĵ(d 2,d 3 ) = = 0 = 0 = 1/2 49/123

50 Shingling: Summary Input: N documents Choose n-gram size for shingling, e.g., n = 5 Pick 200 random permutations, represented as hash functions Compute N sketches: 200 N matrix shown on previous slide, one row per permutation, one column per document Compute N (N 1) 2 pairwise similarities Transitive closure of documents with similarity > θ Index only one document from each equivalence class 50/123

51 Efficient near-duplicate detection Now we have an extremely efficient method for estimating a Jaccard coefficient for a single pair of two documents. But we still have to estimate O(N 2 ) coefficients where N is the number of web pages. Still intractable One solution: locality sensitive hashing (LSH) Another solution: sorting (Henzinger 2006) 51/123

52 Take-away today Big picture Ads they pay for the web Duplicate detection addresses one aspect of chaotic content creation Spam detection addresses one aspect of lack of central access control Probably won t get to today Web information retrieval Size of the web 52/123

53 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 53/123

54 The goal of spamming on the web You have a page that will generate lots of revenue for you if people visit it. Therefore, you would like to direct visitors to this page. One way of doing this: get your page ranked highly in search results. Exercise: How can I get my page ranked highly? 54/123

55 Spam technique: Keyword stuffing / Hidden text Misleading meta-tags, excessive repetition Hidden text with colors, style sheet tricks etc. Used to be very effective, most search engines now catch these 55/123

56 Keyword stuffing 56/123

57 Spam technique: Doorway and lander pages Doorway page: optimized for a single keyword, redirects to the real target page Lander page: optimized for a single keyword or a misspelled domain name, designed to attract surfers who will then click on ads 57/123

58 Lander page Number one hit on Google for the search composita The only purpose of this page: get people to click on the ads and make money for the page owner 58/123

59 Spam technique: Duplication Get good content from somewhere (steal it or produce it yourself) Publish a large number of slight variations of it For example, publish the answer to a tax question with the spelling variations of tax deferred on the previous slide 59/123

60 Spam technique: Cloaking Serve fake content to search engine spider So do we just penalize this always? No: legitimate uses (e.g., different content to US vs. European users) 60/123

61 Spam technique: Link spam Create lots of links pointing to the page you want to promote Put these links on pages with high (or at least non-zero) PageRank Newly registered domains (domain flooding) A set of pages that all point to each other to boost each other s PageRank (mutual admiration society) Pay somebody to put your link on their highly ranked page ( schuetze horoskop example) Leave comments that include the link on blogs 61/123

62 SEO: Search engine optimization Promoting a page in the search rankings is not necessarily spam. It can also be a legitimate business which is called SEO. You can hire an SEO firm to get your page highly ranked. There are many legitimate reasons for doing this. For example, Google bombs like Who is a failure? And there are many legitimate ways of achieving this: Restructure your content in a way that makes it easy to index Talk with influential bloggers and have them link to your site Add more interesting and original content 62/123

63 The war against spam Quality indicators Links, statistically analyzed (PageRank etc) Usage (users visiting a page) No adult content (e.g., no pictures with flesh-tone) Distribution and structure of text (e.g., no keyword stuffing) Combine all of these indicators and use machine learning Editorial intervention Blacklists Top queries audited Complaints addressed Suspect patterns detected 63/123

64 Webmaster guidelines Major search engines have guidelines for webmasters. These guidelines tell you what is legitimate SEO and what is spamming. Ignore these guidelines at your own risk Once a search engine identifies you as a spammer, all pages on your site may get low ranks (or disappear from the index entirely). There is often a fine line between spam and legitimate SEO. Scientific study of fighting spam on the web: adversarial information retrieval 64/123

65 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 65/123

66 Web IR: Differences from traditional IR Links: The web is a hyperlinked document collection. Queries: Web queries are different, more varied and there are a lot of them. How many? 10 9 Users: Users are different, more varied and there are a lot of them. How many? 10 9 Documents: Documents are different, more varied and there are a lot of them. How many? Context: Context is more important on the web than in many other IR applications. Ads and spam 66/123

67 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 67/123

68 Query distribution (1) Most frequent queries on a large search engine on sex 16 crack 31 juegos 46 Caramail 2 (artifact) 17 games 32 nude 47 msn 3 (artifact) 18 pussy 33 music 48 jennifer lopez 4 porno 19 cracks 34 musica 49 tits 5 mp3 20 lolita 35 anal 50 free porn 6 Halloween 21 britney spears 36 free6 51 cheats 7 sexo 22 ebay 37 avril lavigne 52 yahoo.com 8 chat 23 sexe 38 hotmail.com 53 eminem 9 porn 24 Pamela Anderson 39 winzip 54 Christina Aguilera 10 yahoo 25 warez 40 fuck 55 incest 11 KaZaA 26 divx 41 wallpaper 56 letras de canciones 12 xxx 27 gay 42 hotmail.com 57 hardcore 13 Hentai 28 harry potter 43 postales 58 weather 14 lyrics 29 playboy 44 shakira 59 wallpapers 15 hotmail 30 lolitas 45 traductor 60 lingerie More than 1/3 of these are queries for adult content. Exercise: Does this mean that most people are looking for adult content? 68/123

69 Query distribution (2) Queries have a power law distribution. Recall Zipf s law: a few very frequent words, a large number of very rare words Same here: a few very frequent queries, a large number of very rare queries Examples of rare queries: search for names, towns, books etc The proportion of adult queries is much lower than 1/3 69/123

70 Types of queries / user needs in web search Informational user needs: I need information on something. low hemoglobin We called this information need earlier in the class. On the web, information needs proper are only a subclass of user needs. Other user needs: Navigational and transactional Navigational user needs: I want to go to this web site. hotmail, myspace, United Airlines Transactional user needs: I want to make a transaction. Buy something: MacBook Air Download something: Acrobat Reader Chat with someone: live soccer chat Difficult problem: How can the search engine tell what the user need or intent for a particular query is? 70/123

71 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 71/123

72 Search in a hyperlinked collection Web search in most cases is interleaved with navigation......i.e., with following links. Different from most other IR collections 72/123

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74 Bowtie structure of the web Strongly connected component (SCC) in the center Lots of pages that get linked to, but don t link (OUT) Lots of pages that link to other pages, but don t get linked to (IN) Tendrils, tubes, islands 74/123

75 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 75/123

76 User intent: Answering the need behind the query What can we do to guess user intent? Guess user intent independent of context: Spell correction Precomputed typing of queries (next slide) Better: Guess user intent based on context: Geographic context (slide after next) Context of user in this session (e.g., previous query) Context provided by personal profile (Yahoo/MSN do this, Google claims it doesn t) 76/123

77 Guessing of user intent by typing queries Calculation: 5+4 Unit conversion: 1 kg in pounds Currency conversion: 1 euro in kronor Tracking number: Flight info: LH 454 Area code: 650 Map: columbus oh Stock price: msft Albums/movies etc: coldplay 77/123

78 The spatial context: Geo-search Three relevant locations Server (nytimes.com New York) Web page (nytimes.com article about Albania) User (located in Palo Alto) Locating the user IP address Information provided by user (e.g., in user profile) Mobile phone Geo-tagging: Parse text and identify the coordinates of the geographic entities Example: East Palo Alto CA Latitude: N, Longitude: W Important NLP problem 78/123

79 How do we use context to modify query results? Result restriction: Don t consider inappropriate results For user on google.fr......only show.fr results Ranking modulation: use a rough generic ranking, rerank based on personal context Contextualization / personalization is an area of search with a lot of potential for improvement. 79/123

80 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 80/123

81 Users of web search Use short queries (average < 3) Rarely use operators Don t want to spend a lot of time on composing a query Only look at the first couple of results Want a simple UI, not a search engine start page overloaded with graphics Extreme variability in terms of user needs, user expectations, experience, knowledge,... Industrial/developing world, English/Estonian, old/young, rich/poor, differences in culture and class One interface for hugely divergent needs 81/123

82 How do users evaluate search engines? Classic IR relevance (as measured by F) can also be used for web IR. Equally important: Trust, duplicate elimination, readability, loads fast, no pop-ups On the web, precision is more important than recall. Precision at 1, precision at 10, precision on the first 2-3 pages But there is a subset of queries where recall matters. 82/123

83 Web information needs that require high recall Has this idea been patented? Searching for info on a prospective financial advisor Searching for info on a prospective employee Searching for info on a date 83/123

84 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 84/123

85 Web documents: different from other IR collections Distributed content creation: no design, no coordination Democratization of publishing Result: extreme heterogeneity of documents on the web Unstructured (text, html), semistructured (html, xml), structured/relational (databases) Dynamically generated content 85/123

86 Dynamic content Dynamic pages are generated from scratch when the user requests them usually from underlying data in a database. Example: current status of flight LH /123

87 Dynamic content (2) Most (truly) dynamic content is ignored by web spiders. It s too much to index it all. Actually, a lot of static content is also assembled on the fly (asp, php etc.: headers, date, ads etc) 87/123

88 Web pages change frequently (Fetterly 1997) 88/123

89 Multilinguality Documents in a large number of languages Queries in a large number of languages First cut: Don t return English results for a Japanese query However: Frequent mismatches query/document languages Many people can understand, but not query in a language Translation is important. Google example: Beaujolais Nouveau -wine 89/123

90 Duplicate documents Significant duplication 30% 40% duplicates in some studies Duplicates in the search results were common in the early days of the web. Today s search engines eliminate duplicates very effectively. Key for high user satisfaction 90/123

91 Trust For many collections, it is easy to assess the trustworthiness of a document. A collection of Reuters newswire articles A collection of TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union) newswire articles from the 1980s Your Outlook from the last three years Web documents are different: In many cases, we don t know how to evaluate the information. Hoaxes abound. 91/123

92 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 92/123

93 Growth of the web The web keeps growing. But growth is no longer exponential? 93/123

94 Size of the web: Issues What is size? Number of web servers? Number of pages? Terabytes of data available? Some servers are seldom connected. Example: Your laptop running a web server Is it part of the web? The dynamic web is infinite. Any sum of two numbers is its own dynamic page on Google. (Example: 2+4 ) 94/123

95 Search engine index contains N pages : Issues Can I claim a page is in the index if I only index the first 4000 bytes? Can I claim a page is in the index if I only index anchor text pointing to the page? There used to be (and still are?) billions of pages that are only indexed by anchor text. 95/123

96 Simple method for determining a lower bound OR-query of frequent words in a number of languages According to this query: Size of web 21,450,000,000 on and 25,350,000,000 on But page counts of google search results are only rough estimates. 96/123

97 Outline 1 Recap 2 Big picture 3 Ads 4 Duplicate detection 5 Spam 6 Web IR Queries Links Context Users Documents Size 7 Size of the web 97/123

98 Size of the web: Who cares? Media Users They may switch to the search engine that has the best coverage of the web. Users (sometimes) care about recall. If we underestimate the size of the web, search engine results may have low recall. Search engine designers (how many pages do I need to be able to handle?) Crawler designers (which policy will crawl close to N pages?) 98/123

99 What is the size of the web? Any guesses? 99/123

100 Simple method for determining a lower bound OR-query of frequent words in a number of languages According to this query: Size of web 21,450,000,000 on Big if: Page counts of google search results are correct. (Generally, they are just rough estimates.) But this is just a lower bound, based on one search engine. How can we do better? 100/123

101 Size of the web: Issues The dynamic web is infinite. Any sum of two numbers is its own dynamic page on Google. (Example: 2+4 ) Many other dynamic sites generating infinite number of pages The static web contains duplicates each equivalence class should only be counted once. Some servers are seldom connected. Example: Your laptop Is it part of the web? 101/123

102 Search engine index contains N pages : Issues Can I claim a page is in the index if I only index the first 4000 bytes? Can I claim a page is in the index if I only index anchor text pointing to the page? There used to be (and still are?) billions of pages that are only indexed by anchor text. 102/123

103 How can we estimate the size of the web? 103/123

104 Sampling methods Random queries Random searches Random IP addresses Random walks 104/123

105 Variant: Estimate relative sizes of indexes There are significant differences between indexes of different search engines. Different engines have different preferences. max url depth, max count/host, anti-spam rules, priority rules etc. Different engines index different things under the same URL. anchor text, frames, meta-keywords, size of prefix etc. 105/123

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107 Sampling URLs Ideal strategy: Generate a random URL Problem: Random URLs are hard to find (and sampling distribution should reflect user interest ) Approach 1: Random walks / IP addresses In theory: might give us a true estimate of the size of the web (as opposed to just relative sizes of indexex) Approach 2: Generate a random URL contained in a given engine Suffices for accurate estimation of relative size 107/123

108 Random URLs from random queries Idea: Use vocabulary of the web for query generation Vocabulary can be generated from web crawl Use conjunctive queries w 1 AND w 2 Example: vocalists AND rsi Get result set of one hundred URLs from the source engine Choose a random URL from the result set This sampling method induces a weight W(p) for each page p. Method was used by Bharat and Broder (1998). 108/123

109 Checking if a page is in the index Either: Search for URL if the engine supports this Or: Create a query that will find doc d with high probability Download doc, extract words Use 8 low frequency word as AND query Call this a strong query for d Run query Check if d is in result set Problems Near duplicates Redirects Engine time-outs 109/123

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112 Random searches Choose random searches extracted from a search engine log (Lawrence & Giles 97) Use only queries with small result sets For each random query: compute ratio size(r 1 )/size(r 2 ) of the two result sets Average over random searches 112/123

113 Advantages & disadvantages Advantage Might be a better reflection of the human perception of coverage Issues Samples are correlated with source of log (unfair advantage for originating search engine) Duplicates Technical statistical problems (must have non-zero results, ratio average not statistically sound) 113/123

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117 Random IP addresses [ONei97,Lawr99] [Lawr99] exhaustively crawled 2500 servers and extrapolated Estimated size of the web to be 800 million 117/123

118 Advantages and disadvantages Advantages Can, in theory, estimate the size of the accessible web (as opposed to the (relative) size of an index) Clean statistics Independent of crawling strategies Disadvantages Many hosts share one IP ( oversampling) Hosts with large web sites don t get more weight than hosts with small web sites ( possible undersampling) Sensitive to spam (multiple IPs for same spam server) Again, duplicates 118/123

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