The goal of Sixearch ( is to provide an open-source platform for developing a context aware personalized peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed information retrieval system. The application currently supports collaborative Web search with scalability.

Sixearch ArchitectureSixearch uses the idea of modeling neighbor nodes by their content but without assuming the presence of special directory hubs. As shown on the left, each peer is both a (limited) directory hub and a content provider; it has its own topical crawler guided by its user’s information content and local search engine. Peers communication is built on JXTA platform. When a user submits a query, it is first matched against the local engine, and then routed to neighbor peers to obtain more results. Ideally, the peer network should lead to the emergence of a clustered topology by intelligent collaboration between the peers. While traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo provide access to very large document collections, the Sixearch P2P Web search application provides a complementary way for users to actively and collaboratively share their own document collections. However, the Sixearch framework allows traditional search engines to naturally be included as peers; such peers would quickly emerge as reliable, trustworthy, and general authority nodes.

A screenshot of peer interactions taken from the network visualization applet
A screenshot of peer interactions

The right figure displays a screenshot of the queries being sent among peers. Peer interactions are visualized by an applet. The area of each node is proportional to the size of its Web index. The edges represent the queries exchanged between two peers. The connectivity of each peer is an indirect measure of centrality, authority, and/or reliability of the peer as learned by the other peers.

Our work on Sixearch has been published in AAAI Magazine (preprint), and presented at Hyperterxt 2009 (demo), ACM SAC2009 (paper), RIAO2007 (demo), ACM CIKM P2PIR2006 (paper), WTAS2005 (paper), WWW2005 (poster), and WWW2004 (poster). Unfortunately, we have also been the victims of shameless plagiarism.

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Members & Collaborators


Nsf_logo Sixearch project is based upon work supported by the the National Science Foundation under award No. IIS-0133124 and IIS-0348940 CAREER: Scalable Search Engines Via Adaptive Topic-Driven Crawlers.
ibm Recently, Sixearch project has received the IBM 2007 UIMA award on 6S: A Collaborative Web Search Network.