Friday, April 20, 2007

PAWS Meeting 04/20/2007

It was a first meeting of the "Social" Month. Though Jill's presentation was not social, but an interesting one.

1. Sharon was presenting Dogear system - IBM-developed system for social bookmarking on the enterprise. Nothing too novel. They took everything good from and implemented it in nice and fancy way. The main question they have - can the social bookmarking system be beneficial in the enterprise settings. They use REST as a communication protocol. Tags and bookmarks have a representation in form of RSS feeds, hence it is possible to subscribe, for example on some user's bookmarks. They also plan to implement recommendation based on collaborative filtering.
They describe an experiment with 686 participants. Only 1/4 of them created tags and bookmarks. Half of them navigated bookmarked resources. The question then, - what did the rest of "participants"?
They did some quantitative analysis of numbers of tags per bookmark, number of people using a bookmark etc., they also applied some social network analysis to identify the connections between people through the resources they tag, bookmark and navigate.

2. Jill talked about a system Volant, that implements a rather novel methodology for Web search. The main motivation behind the system is following: Modern Search engines do not take into account that the querying is only a first step in the search process; usually after people query an engine they start navigating through linked pages. Hence the idea is that the search engine should not try to generate the pages which are the best answers to a query, instead they should direct users to the pages that are the best entry points, starting from which a user can easily navigate to the page meeting his/her information goal.
Then there was a lot of math formulating the work of a search engine exploiting navigational patterns existing on the web and retrieving the best entry points. And at the end it some evaluation was described, a very thin, though.
Interesting project.


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