Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vertical search across the educational horizon: New search tools could facilitate access to online educational resources

Date:
December 30, 2010
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
General search engines, while very effective at tracking down information, are nevertheless unstructured, which limits the user's ability to further automate the processing of the search results, researchers point out in a new article.

Searching the web usually involves typing keywords or a phrase into a search engine and clicking the "search now" button. It's very effective and several large companies have become prominent in the field by providing users with searchable access to millions, if not billions of web pages in this way. However, according to researchers at Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto, California and Chinese technology company, Innovation Works, general search engines, while very effective at tracking down information, are nevertheless unstructured, which limits the user's ability to further automate the processing of the search results.

Related Articles


Other researchers have attempted to find ways to support more precise web searching on specific sites, so-called content verticals, but writing in the International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, HP's Meichun Hsu and IW's Yuhong Xiong explain an alternative web search system that could be used to search across such verticals. They have demonstrated how the new system works by focusing on online courses.

The researchers point out that in the pre-web days, a relational database within a company or educational establishment was equivalent to the modern online content vertical. Users of relational databases could embed their search results in an application program for that database. The HP team hopes to take forward this embedding process and extend it to the wider web. As an example of the kind of search such an approach might allow they describe how they would like to be able to carry out the following:

SELECT product_name FROM hp.com WHERE product_type PC

Imagine how a similar query across online educational resources might be made transparent to users by clever programming so that they could pull up specific prospectuses, curricula, timetables, and tests quickly and easily, across domains rather than on a single computer system. To solve this problem the team has exploited "focused crawling" in which only the pages likely to be relevant are crawled and indexed. This ties in neatly with "web content classification," which adds meta-data to those relevant pages that accelerates searching. Finally, "information extraction" pulls out the important information from that focused and classified data. The team has now applied this approach to HP's OfCourse project.

"The technologies can be used to support structured queries over contents extracted and aggregated from the web," the team says. "They are also foundational to personalization, by offering more insights into the web content of interest to particular users." The new approach to search does require human intervention at certain stages so that contents within each domain crawled might be classified more effectively, but machine learning approaches can also lead to some degree of automation of this process too. The research, the team says, takes us one step closer to "the convergence of database technology and information retrieval in the era of the web."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meichun Hsu, Yuhong Xiong. Scalable information extraction for web queries. International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, 2010; 5: 176-184

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Vertical search across the educational horizon: New search tools could facilitate access to online educational resources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222093202.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2010, December 30). Vertical search across the educational horizon: New search tools could facilitate access to online educational resources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222093202.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Vertical search across the educational horizon: New search tools could facilitate access to online educational resources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222093202.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Is Nintendo Making A Comeback With 'Super Smash Bros.'?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Nintendo released new "Super Smash Bros." Friday, and it's getting great reviews. Could this mean a comeback for the gaming company? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins