The IEEE Spectrum piece Real-Time Search Stumbles Out of the Gate discusses the recent integration of real-time search features, such as Twitter and other microblog entries, into major search engines. Professor Filippo Menczer, CNetS associate director, comments in the article on the challenges posed by real-time search. Here is an excerpt of the interview:
IU’s Menczer suggests that with all this user-generated content, the environment is more complex than the one Google’s PageRank algorithm had to deal with. While search used to be about relationships between pages, he explains, now it’s about relationships between ”people, tags, Web pages, ratings, votes, and direct social links….It may not be that page A points to page B but rather that user John follows Mary and replies to the tweet of Jane and retweets it.” That makes it ”a more complicated ecosystem,” he says, ”but a very rich one,” and search engines will need ”more sophisticated ways to extract data from these relationships” […]
CNetS graduate student Diep Thi Hoang and associate director Filippo Menczer have developed a tool (called Scholarometer, previously Tenurometer in beta version) for evaluating the impact of scholars in their field. Scholarometer uses the h-index, which combines the scholarly output with the influence of the work, but adds the universal h-index proposed by Radicchi et al. to compare the impact of research in different disciplines. This is enabled by a social mechanism in which users of the tool collaborate to tag the disciplines of the scholars. “We have computer scientists, physicists, social scientists, people from many different backgrounds, who publish in lots of different areas,” says Menczer. However, the various communities have different citation methods and different publishing traditions, making it difficult to compare the influence of a sociologist and a computer scientist, for example. The universal h-index controls for differences in the publishing traditions, as well as the amount of research scholars in various fields have to produce to make an impact. Menczer is especially excited about the potential to help show how the disciplines are merging into one another. More from Inside Higher Ed… (Also picked up by ACM TechNews and CACM.)
Fil Menczer is one of the organizers of Hypertext 2009, the 20th ACM Conference on Hypertext an Hypermedia. The conference will be held June 29-July 1 at the Villa Gualino Convention Centre, on the hills overlooking Torino, Italy. Hypertext is the main venue for high quality peer-reviewed research on “linking.” The Web, the Semantic Web, the Web 2.0, and Social Networks are all manifestations of the success of the link. With a 70% increase in submissions, Hypertext 2009 will have a strong and diverse technical program covering all research concerning links: their semantics, their presentation, the applications, as well as the knowledge that can be derived from their analysis and their effects on society. The conference will also feature demos, posters, a student research competition, four workshops, and keynotes by Lada Adamic and Ricardo Baeza-Yates.