Net plan builds in search
Technology Research News
There is a wealth of information available
on the Internet and in separate repositories like university library databases.
It would save time to be able to search all digital resources using one
Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology
in China have come up with a distributed information retrieval system
that promises to help. The system could eventually become part of the
Internet infrastructure as an extension of the domain name service.
The Domain Resource Integrated System (DRIS) allows a user to
search for information whether it resides on Web pages or in databases,
said Wang Liang, a researcher at the University. "Hundreds of databases
have been introduced in many libraries of universities, and there are
many more free information resources on the Internet," he said. The researchers'
prototype provides a unified search for the Web, FTP resources, and databases
at the researchers' university.
The software organizes resources on three levels -- an individual
domain like a university or company, a sub network like the China Education
Network (CERNET) that includes all the universities in China, and a top-level
domain like the Internet in China, said Liang.
At the individual domain level, the domain organization such as
a university or corporation would implement a standard search engine that
crawls pages, creates an index and provides a search interface.
At the subnetwork level, the search function would include an
index and search interface but no Web crawler. Instead, the data for the
domains within the subnetwork would be supplied by the domain-level search
engine databases. And at the top-level domain, which is often a country
domain, the search function would be a distributed metasearch, or search
interface to the indexes at the subnetwork level.
The scheme provides the basic ability to search across resources.
This search infrastructure could be used by other software programs to
provide more elaborate search abilities, according to Liang.
The researchers are building a Domain Resource Integrated System
that integrates all the information resources in Chinese universities,
according to Liang. "Our first testbed will be built on [the] China Education
Network," he said. "If our first testbed proves that DRIS is a successful
system, we can extend it to the whole Internet in China with the help
The testbed will include a standard distributed, platform-independent
search interface, a collection descriptions standard, an information retrieval
protocol, a standard metadata harvest system, and a standard public pages
search system, according to Liang. The system will also take into account
the ability of the next-generation Internet standards including Internet
Protocol Version 6 (IPV6), especially the ability to assign priorities
to different types of data flows, he said.
The ultimate goal is to make the Domain Resource Integrated System
software an information retrieval system built into the Internet, said
Liang. "The basic idea is that search should be [an] internal function
of [the] Internet and everyone should have his own personal intelligent
search engine," said Liang.
Connecting personalized front-end search engines to an integrated
Internet search function would be convenient in several ways, said Liang.
The integrated search function would cut down on irrelevant and
outdated search results, would cover more of the Internet as well as university
and other databases, and would cut down on traffic from many search engines
periodically crawling the Web to build page indexes.
A personalized search engine would allow a user to better tailor
queries. In contrast, every user obtains the same results for a query
from general search engines that can't express special interests, he said.
The information retrieval system in the film Time Machine
was impressive, and is not far from reality, said Liang. Many researchers
are working toward it, he said.
The researchers are planning to complete the experimental system
built on the China Education Network by summer, 2004. Liang's research
colleagues were Guo Yi-Ping and Fang Ming. The research was funded by
the China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS).
Timeline: < 2 years
TRN Categories: Internet; Databases and Information Retrieval
Story Type: News
Related Elements: Technical paper, "Make Search Become the
Internal Function of Internet," posted on the Computing Research Repository
(CoRR) at arxiv.org/abs/cs.IR/0311015
April 7/14, 2004
Net plan builds in search
Robot guided by its voice
Angle speeds plastic
Sturdy quantum computing
DNA folds into
Fiber spun from
Nano ribbons coil
combo tracks viruses
Research News Roundup
Research Watch blog
View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works
News | Blog
Buy an ad link