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Better and Faster Search Engines

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Ola Agren, a Ph.D. candidate at Umea University in Sweden, has developed an algorithm that will make search engines faster and return more relevant results. Search engines on the Internet often use an algorithm that assigns higher or lower values to features of Web pages based on a search of all pages available on the Internet, while Agren's algorithm ranks pages based on each relevant starting page, including those directly or indirectly linked to by the starting page.

Agren's algorithm calculates a normalized mean value of the relevance of the various pages, with those linked from several different pages receiving a higher value than those found only once. Agren says that pages are found faster this way. He says the algorithm can go through a database and rank Web pages in 158 seconds, compared with more than seven days for ordinary standard algorithms.

Agren also studied the relevance of hits in the top 10 lists for his algorithm and two variants of the algorithm used by Google, and although there was some overlapping, they were never completely identical. "The users in the study found that the search engine I developed is better than the others in more than 60 percent of cases," Agren says.

From The Swedish Research Council
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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