• Intelligent internet searching agent based on hybrid simulated annealing

      Yang, Christopher C.; Yen, Jerome; Chen, Hsinchun (Elsevier, 2000)
      The World-Wide Web WWW based Internet services have become a major channel for information delivery. For the same reason, information overload also has become a serious problem to the users of such services. It has been estimated that the amount of information stored on the Internet doubled every 18 months. The speed of increase of homepages can be even faster, some people estimated that it doubled every 6 months. Therefore, a scalable approach to support Internet searching is critical to the success of Internet services and other current or future National Information Infrastructure NII applications. In this paper, we discuss a modified version of simulated annealing algorithm to develop an intelligent personal spider agent, which is based on automatic textual analysis of the Internet documents and hybrid simulated annealing.
    • An intelligent personal spider (agent) for dynamic Internet/Intranet searching

      Chen, Hsinchun; Chung, Yi-Ming; Ramsey, Marshall C.; Yang, Christopher C. (Science Direct, 1998-05)
      As Internet services based on the World-Wide Web become more popular, information overload has become a pressing research problem. Difficulties with search on Internet will worsen as the amount of on-line information increases. A scalable approach to Internet search is critical to the success of Internet services and other current and future National Information Infrastructure (NII) applications. As part of the ongoing Illinois Digital Library Initiative project, this research proposes an intelligent personal spider (agent) approach to Internet searching. The approach, which is grounded on automatic textual analysis and general-purpose search algorithms, is expected to be an improvement over the current static and inefficient Internet searches. In this experiment, we implemented Internet personal spiders based on best first search and genetic algorithm techniques. These personal spiders can dynamically take a user's selected starting homepages and search for the most closely related homepages in the web, based on the links and keyword indexing. A plain, static CGI/HTML-based interface was developed earlier, followed by a recent enhancement of a graphical, dynamic Java-based interface. Preliminary evaluation results and two working prototypes (available for Web access) are presented. Although the examples and evaluations presented are mainly based on Internet applications, the applicability of the proposed techniques to the potentially more rewarding Intranet applications should be obvious. In particular, we believe the proposed agent design can be used to locate organization-wide information, to gather new, time-critical organizational information, and to support team-building and communication in Intranets.
    • A Smart Itsy Bitsy Spider for the Web

      Chen, Hsinchun; Chung, Yi-Ming; Ramsey, Marshall C.; Yang, Christopher C. (Wiley Periodicals, Inc, 1998)
      As part of the ongoing Illinois Digital Library Initiative project, this research proposes an intelligent agent approach to Web searching. In this experiment, we developed two Web personal spiders based on best first search and genetic algorithm techniques, respectively. These personal spiders can dynamically take a userâ s selected starting homepages and search for the most closely related homepages in the Web, based on the links and keyword indexing. A graphical, dynamic, Java-based interface was developed and is available for Web access. A system architecture for implementing such an agent-based spider is presented, followed by detailed discussions of benchmark testing and user evaluation results. In benchmark testing, although the genetic algorithm spider did not outperform the best first search spider, we found both results to be comparable and complementary. In user evaluation, the genetic algorithm spider obtained significantly higher recall value than that of the best first search spider. However, their precision values were not statistically different. The mutation process introduced in genetic algorithm allows users to find other potential relevant homepages that cannot be explored via a conventional local search process. In addition, we found the Java-based interface to be a necessary component for design of a truly interactive and dynamic Web agent.
    • Visualization of large category map for Internet browsing

      Yang, Christopher C.; Chen, Hsinchun; Hong, Kay (Elsevier, 2003-04)
      Information overload is a critical problem in World Wide Web. Category map developed based on Kohonenâ s selforganizing map (SOM) has been proven to be a promising browsing tool for the Web. The SOM algorithm automatically categorizes a large Internet information space into manageable sub-spaces. It compresses and transforms a complex information space into a two-dimensional graphical representation. Such graphical representation provides a user-friendly interface for users to explore the automatically generated mental model. However, as the amount of information increases, it is expected to increase the size of the category map accordingly in order to accommodate the important concepts in the information space. It results in increasing of visual load of the category map. Large pool of information is packed closely together on a limited size of displaying window, where local details are difficult to be clearly seen. In this paper, we propose the fisheye views and fractal views to support the visualization of category map. Fisheye views are developed based on the distortion approach while fractal views are developed based on the information reduction approach. The purpose of fisheye views are to enlarge the regions of interest and diminish the regions that are further away while maintaining the global structure. On the other hand, fractal views are an approximation mechanism to abstract complex objects and control the amount of information to be displayed. We have developed a prototype system and conducted a user evaluation to investigate the performance of fisheye views and fractal views. The results show that both fisheye views and fractal views significantly increase the effectiveness of visualizing category map. In addition, fractal views are significantly better than fisheye views but the combination of fractal views and fisheye views do not increase the performance compared to each individual technique.