The Hidden Web
The difficulty of finding information on the World Wide Web by browsing hypertext documents has led to the development and deployment of various search engines and indexing techniques. However, many information-gathering tasks are better handled by finding a referral to a human expert rather than by simply interacting with online information sources. A personal referral allows a user to judge the quality of the information he or she is receiving as well as to potentially obtain information that is deliberately not made public. The process of finding an expert who is both reliable and likely to respond to the user can be viewed as a search through the net-work of social relationships between individuals as opposed to a search through the network of hypertext documents. The goal of the REFERRAL WEB Project is to create models of social networks by data mining the web and develop tools that use the models to assist in locating experts and related information search and evaluation tasks.
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