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What is page importance? Page importance is hard to define unilaterally such that it satisfies everyone. There are however some desiderata: It should be sensitive to The query Or at least the topic of the query.. The user Or at least the user population The link structure of the web

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What is page importance l.jpg
What is page importance?

  • Page importance is hard to define unilaterally such that it satisfies everyone. There are however some desiderata:

    • It should be sensitive to

      • The query

        • Or at least the topic of the query..

      • The user

        • Or at least the user population

      • The link structure of the web

      • The amount of accesses the page gets

    • It should be stable w.r.t. small random changes in the network link structure

    • It shouldn’t be easy to subvert with intentional changes to link structure

How about:

“Eloquence” of the page

“informativeness” of the page

Desiderata for link based ranking l.jpg
Desiderata for link-based ranking

  • A page that is referenced by lot of important pages (has more back links) is more important (Authority)

    • A page referenced by a single important page may be more important than that referenced by five unimportant pages

  • A page that references a lot of important pages is also important (Hub)

  • “Importance” can be propagated

    • Your importance is the weighted sum of the importance conferred on you by the pages that refer to you

    • The importance you confer on a page may be proportional to how many other pages you refer to (cite)

      • (Also what you say about them when you cite them!)


Notions of


Qn: Can we assign consistent authority/hub values

to pages?

Authorities and hubs as mutually reinforcing properties l.jpg
Authorities and Hubsas mutually reinforcing properties

  • Authorities and hubs related to the same query tend to form a bipartite subgraph of the web graph.

  • Suppose each page has an authority score a(p) and a hub score h(p)



Authority and hub pages l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages


I: Authority Computation: for each page p:

a(p) =  h(q)

q: (q, p)E

O: Hub Computation: for each page p:

h(p) =  a(q)

q: (p, q)E








A set of simultaneous equations… Can we solve these?

Authority and hub pages 8 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages (8)

Matrix representation of operations I and O.

Let A be the adjacency matrix of SG: entry (p, q) is 1 if p has a link to q, else the entry is 0.

Let AT be the transpose of A.

Let hi be vector of hub scores after i iterations.

Let ai be the vector of authority scores after i iterations.

Operation I: ai = AT hi-1

Operation O: hi = A ai

Normalize after every multiplication

Authority and hub pages 11 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages (11)


Example: Initialize all scores to 1.

1st Iteration:

I operation:

a(q1) = 1, a(q2) = a(q3) = 0,

a(p1) = 3, a(p2) = 2

O operation: h(q1) = 5,

h(q2) = 3, h(q3) = 5, h(p1) = 1, h(p2) = 0

Normalization: a(q1) = 0.267, a(q2) = a(q3) = 0,

a(p1) = 0.802, a(p2) = 0.535, h(q1) = 0.645,

h(q2) = 0.387, h(q3) = 0.645, h(p1) = 0.129, h(p2) = 0





Authority and hub pages 12 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages (12)

After 2 Iterations:

a(q1) = 0.061, a(q2) = a(q3) = 0, a(p1) = 0.791,

a(p2) = 0.609, h(q1) = 0.656, h(q2) = 0.371,

h(q3) = 0.656, h(p1) = 0.029, h(p2) = 0

After 5 Iterations:

a(q1) = a(q2) = a(q3) = 0,

a(p1) = 0.788, a(p2) = 0.615

h(q1) = 0.657, h(q2) = 0.369,

h(q3) = 0.657, h(p1) = h(p2) = 0






What happens if you multiply a vector by a matrix l.jpg
What happens if you multiply a vector by a matrix?

  • In general, when you multiply a vector by a matrix, the vector gets “scaled” as well as “rotated”

    • ..except when the vector happens to be in the direction of one of the eigen vectors of the matrix

    • .. in which case it only gets scaled (stretched)

  • A (symmetric square) matrix has all real eigen values, and the values give an indication of the amount of stretching that is done for vectors in that direction

  • The eigen vectors of the matrix define a new ortho-normal space

    • You can model the multiplication of a general vector by the matrix in terms of

      • First decompose the general vector into its projections in the eigen vector directions

        • ..which means just take the dot product of the vector with the (unit) eigen vector

      • Then multiply the projections by the corresponding eigen values—to get the new vector.

    • This explains why power method converges to principal eigen vector..

      • ..since if a vector has a non-zero projection in the principal eigen vector direction, then repeated multiplication will keep stretching the vector in that direction, so that eventually all other directions vanish by comparison..


Why does the procedure converge l.jpg




(why) Does the procedure converge?

As we multiply repeatedly with

M, the component of x in the direction of principal eigen vector gets stretched wrt to other directions.. So we converge finally to the direction of principal eigenvector

Necessary condition: x must have a component in the direction of principal eigen vector (c1must be non-zero)

The rate of convergence depends on the “eigen gap”

Can we power iterate to get other secondary eigen vectors l.jpg
Can we power iterate to get other (secondary) eigen vectors?

  • Yes—just find a matrix M2 such that M2 has the same eigen vectors as M, but the eigen value corresponding to the first eigen vector e1 is zeroed out..

  • Now do power iteration on M2

  • Alternately start with a random vector v, and find a new vector v’ = v – (v.e1)e1 and do power iteration on M with v’

Why? 1. M2e1 = 0

2. If e2is the second eigen vector of M,

then it is also an eigen vector of M2

Authority and hub pages11 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages

Algorithm (summary)

submit q to a search engine to obtain the root set S;

expand S into the base set T;

obtain the induced subgraph SG(V, E) using T;

initialize a(p) = h(p) = 1 for all p in V;

for each p in V until the scores converge

{ apply Operation I;

apply Operation O;

normalize a(p) and h(p); }

return pages with top authority & hub scores;

Base set computation l.jpg
Base set computation

can be made easy by storing the link structure of the Web in advance Link structure table (during crawling)

--Most search engines serve this information now. (e.g. Google’s link: search)

parent_url child_url

url1 url2

url1 url3

Handling spam links l.jpg
Handling “spam” links

Should all links be equally treated?

Two considerations:

  • Some links may be more meaningful/important than other links.

  • Web site creators may trick the system to make their pages more authoritative by adding dummy pages pointing to their cover pages (spamming).

Handling spam links contd l.jpg
Handling Spam Links (contd)

  • Transverse link: links between pages with different domain names.

    Domain name: the first level of the URL of a page.

  • Intrinsic link: links between pages with the same domain name.

    Transverse links are more important than intrinsic links.

    Two ways to incorporate this:

  • Use only transverse links and discard intrinsic links.

  • Give lower weights to intrinsic links.

Considering link context l.jpg
Considering link “context”

For a given link (p, q), let V(p, q) be the vicinity (e.g.,  50 characters) of the link.

  • If V(p, q) contains terms in the user query (topic), then the link should be more useful for identifying authoritative pages.

  • To incorporate this: In adjacency matrix A, make the weight associated with link (p, q) to be 1+n(p, q),

    • where n(p, q) is the number of terms in V(p, q) that appear in the query.

    • Alternately, consider the “vector similarity” between V(p,q) and the query Q

Evaluation l.jpg

Sample experiments:

  • Rank based on large in-degree (or backlinks)

    query: game

    Rank in-degree URL

    1 13 http://www.gotm.org

    2 12 http://www.gamezero.com/team-0/

    3 12 http://ngp.ngpc.state.ne.us/gp.html

    4 12 http://www.ben2.ucla.edu/~permadi/


    5 11 http://igolfto.net/

    6 11 http://www.eduplace.com/geo/indexhi.html

  • Only pages 1, 2 and 4 are authoritative game pages.

Evaluation19 l.jpg

Sample experiments (continued)

  • Rank based on large authority score.

    query: game

    Rank Authority URL

    1 0.613 http://www.gotm.org

    2 0.390 http://ad/doubleclick/net/jump/


    3 0.342 http://www.d2realm.com/

    4 0.324 http://www.counter-strike.net

    5 0.324 http://tech-base.com/

    6 0.306 http://www.e3zone.com

  • All pages are authoritative game pages.

Authority and hub pages 19 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages (19)

Sample experiments (continued)

  • Rank based on large authority score.

    query: free email

    Rank Authority URL

    1 0.525 http://mail.chek.com/

    2 0.345 http://www.hotmail/com/

    3 0.309 http://www.naplesnews.net/

    4 0.261 http://www.11mail.com/

    5 0.254 http://www.dwp.net/

    6 0.246 http://www.wptamail.com/

  • All pages are authoritative free email pages.

Tyranny of majority l.jpg
Tyranny of Majority

Which do you think are

Authoritative pages?

Which are good hubs?

-intutively, we would say

that 4,8,5 will be authoritative

pages and 1,2,3,6,7 will be

hub pages.









The authority and hub mass

Will concentrate completely

Among the first component, as

The iterations increase. (See next slide)

BUT The power iteration will show that

Only 4 and 5 have non-zero authorities

[.923 .382]

And only 1, 2 and 3 have non-zero hubs

[.5 .7 .5]

Slide22 l.jpg

Tyranny of Majority (explained)

Suppose h0 and a0 are all initialized to 1











Impact of bridges l.jpg


Impact of Bridges..



When the graph is disconnected,

only 4 and 5 have non-zero authorities

[.923 .382]

And only 1, 2 and 3 have non-zero hubs

[.5 .7 .5]CV







Bad news from

stability point of view

Can be fixed by putting

a weak link between any

two pages.. (saying in

essence that you expect

every page to be reached

from every other page)

When the components are bridged by

adding one page (9)

the authorities change

only 4, 5 and 8 have non-zero authorities

[.853 .224 .47]

And o1, 2, 3, 6,7 and 9 will have non-zero hubs

[.39 .49 .39 .21 .21 .6]

Finding minority communities l.jpg
Finding minority Communities

  • How to retrieve pages from smaller communities?

    A method for finding pages in nth largest community:

    • Identify the next largest community using the existing algorithm.

    • Destroy this community by removing links associated with pages having large authorities.

    • Reset all authority and hub values back to 1 and calculate all authority and hub values again.

    • Repeat the above n  1 times and the next largest community will be the nth largest community.

Multiple clusters on house l.jpg
Multiple Clusters on “House”

Query: House (first community)

Authority and hub pages 26 l.jpg
Authority and Hub Pages (26)

Query: House (second community)

The importance of publishing l.jpg

A/H algorithm was published in SODA as well as JACM

Kleinberg became very famous in the scientific community (and got a McArthur Genius award)

Pagerank algorithm was rejected from SIGIR and was never explicitly published

Larry Page never got a genius award or even a PhD

`(and had to be content with being a mere billionaire)

The importance of publishing..

Pagerank importance as stationary visit probability on a markov chain l.jpg

PageRank (Importance as Stationary Visit Probability on a Markov Chain)

Principal eigenvector

Gives the stationary


Basic Idea:

Think of Web as a big graph. A random surfer keeps randomly clicking on the links.

The importance of a page is the probability that the surfer finds herself on that page

--Talk of transition matrix instead of adjacency matrix

Transition matrix M derived from adjacency matrix A

--If there are F(u) forward links from a page u,

then the probability that the surfer clicks

on any of those is 1/F(u) (Columns sum to 1. Stochastic matrix)

[M is the normalized version of At]

--But even a dumb user may once in a while do something other than

follow URLs on the current page..

--Idea: Put a small probability that the user goes off to a page not pointed to by the current page.

Markov chains random surfer model l.jpg

Markov Chains & Stationary distribution

Necessary conditions for existence of unique steady state distribution: Aperiodicity and Irreducibility

Irreducibility: Each node can be reached from every other node with non-zero probability

Must not have sink nodes (which have no out links)

Because we can have several different steady state distributions based on which sink we get stuck in

If there are sink nodes, change them so that you can transition from them to every other node with low probability

Must not have disconnected components

Because we can have several different steady state distributions depending on which disconnected component we get stuck in

Sufficient to put a low probability link from every node to every other node (in addition to the normal weight links corresponding to actual hyperlinks)

The parameters of random surfer model

c the probability that surfer follows the page

The larger it is, the more the surfer sticks to what the page says

M the way link matrix is converted to markov chain

Can make the links have differing transition probability

E.g. query specific links have higher prob. Links in bold have higher prop etc

K the reset distribution of the surfer great thing to tweak

It is quite feasible to have m different reset distributions corresponding to m different populations of users (or m possible topic-oriented searches)

It is also possible to make the reset distribution depend on other things such as

trust of the page [TrustRank]

Recency of the page [Recency-sensitive rank]

Markov Chains & Random Surfer Model

Computing pagerank 10 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (10)

Example: Suppose the Web graph is:

M =











  • 0 0 0 ½

  • 0 0 0 ½

  • 1 0 0

  • 0 0 1 0





0 0 1 0

0 0 1 0

0 0 0 1

1 1 0 0


Computing pagerank l.jpg
Computing PageRank

Matrix representation

Let M be an NN matrix and muv be the entry at the u-th row and v-th column.

muv = 1/Nv if page v has a link to page u

muv = 0 if there is no link from v to u

Let Ri be the N1 rank vector for I-th iteration

and R0 be the initial rank vector.

Then Ri = M  Ri-1

Computing pagerank33 l.jpg
Computing PageRank

If the ranks converge, i.e., there is a rank vector R such that

R= M  R,

R is the eigenvector of matrix M with eigenvalue being 1.

Convergence is guaranteed only if

  • M is aperiodic (the Web graph is not a big cycle). This is practically guaranteed for Web.

  • M is irreducible (the Web graph is strongly connected). This is usually not true.

Principal eigen value for

A stochastic matrix is 1

Computing pagerank 6 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (6)

Rank sink: A page or a group of pages is a rank sink if they can receive rank propagation from its parents but cannot propagate rank to other pages.

Rank sink causes the loss of total ranks.



(C, D) is a rank sink




Computing pagerank 7 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (7)

A solution to the non-irreducibility and rank sink problem.

  • Conceptually add a link from each page v to every page (include self).

  • If v has no forward links originally, make all entries in the corresponding column in M be 1/N.

  • If v has forward links originally, replace 1/Nv in the corresponding column by c1/Nv and then add (1-c) 1/N to all entries, 0 < c < 1.

Motivation comes also from random-surfer model

Computing pagerank 8 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (8)

Z will have 1/N

For sink pages

And 0 otherwise

K will have 1/N

For all entries

M*= c (M + Z) + (1 – c) x K

  • M* is irreducible.

  • M* is stochastic, the sum of all entries of each column is 1 and there are no negative entries.

    Therefore, if M is replaced by M* as in

    Ri = M*  Ri-1

    then the convergence is guaranteed and there will be no loss of the total rank (which is 1).

Computing pagerank 1037 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (10)

Example: Suppose the Web graph is:

M =










  • 0 0 0 ½

  • 0 0 0 ½

  • 1 0 0

  • 0 0 1 0

Computing pagerank 11 l.jpg
Computing PageRank (11)

Example (continued): Suppose c = 0.8. All entries in Z are 0 and all entries in K are ¼.

M* = 0.8 (M+Z) + 0.2 K =

Compute rank by iterating

R := M*xR

0.05 0.05 0.05 0.45

0.05 0.05 0.05 0.45

0.85 0.85 0.05 0.05

0.05 0.05 0.85 0.05

MATLAB says:





Combining pr content similarity l.jpg
Combining PR & Content similarity

Incorporate the ranks of pages into the ranking function of a search engine.

  • The ranking score of a web page can be a weighted sum of its regular similarity with a query and its importance.

    ranking_score(q, d)

    = wsim(q, d) + (1-w)  R(d), if sim(q, d) > 0

    = 0, otherwise

    where 0 < w < 1.

    • Both sim(q, d) and R(d) need to be normalized to between [0, 1].

Who sets w?

We can pick and choose l.jpg

Two alternate ways of computing page importance

I1. As authorities/hubs

I2. As stationary distribution over the underlying markov chain

Two alternate ways of combining importance with similarity

C1. Compute importance over a set derived from the top-100 similar pages

C2. Combine apples & organges

a*importance + b*similarity

We can pick and choose

  • We can pick any pair of alternatives

    • (even though I1 was originally proposed with C1 and I2 with C2)

Efficient computation prioritized sweeping l.jpg
Efficient computation: Prioritized Sweeping

We can use asynchronous

iterations where the iteration

uses some of the values

updated in the current iteration

Efficient computation preprocess l.jpg
Efficient Computation: Preprocess

  • Remove ‘dangling’ nodes

    • Pages w/ no children

  • Then repeat process

    • Since now more danglers

  • Stanford WebBase

    • 25 M pages

    • 81 M URLs in the link graph

    • After two prune iterations: 19 M nodes

Representing links table l.jpg

Source node

(32 bit int)


(16 bit int)

Destination nodes

(32 bit int)



12, 26, 58, 94



5, 56, 69



1, 9, 10, 36, 78

Representing ‘Links’ Table

  • Stored on disk in binary format

  • Size for Stanford WebBase: 1.01 GB

    • Assumed to exceed main memory

Algorithm 1 l.jpg

source node


dest node


Links (sparse)


Algorithm 1

s Source[s] = 1/N

while residual > {

d Dest[d] = 0

while not Links.eof() {

Links.read(source, n, dest1, … destn)

for j = 1… n

Dest[destj] = Dest[destj]+Source[source]/n


d Dest[d] = c * Dest[d] + (1-c)/N /* dampening */

residual = Source – Dest /* recompute every few iterations */

Source = Dest


Analysis of algorithm 1 l.jpg
Analysis of Algorithm 1

  • If memory is big enough to hold Source & Dest

    • IO cost per iteration is | Links|

    • Fine for a crawl of 24 M pages

    • But web ~ 800 M pages in 2/99 [NEC study]

    • Increase from 320 M pages in 1997 [same authors]

  • If memory is big enough to hold just Dest

    • Sort Links on source field

    • Read Source sequentially during rank propagation step

    • Write Dest to disk to serve as Source for next iteration

    • IO cost per iteration is | Source| + | Dest| + | Links|

  • If memory can’t hold Dest

    • Random access pattern will make working set = | Dest|

    • Thrash!!!

Block based algorithm l.jpg
Block-Based Algorithm

  • Partition Dest into B blocks of D pages each

    • If memory = P physical pages

    • D < P-2 since need input buffers for Source & Links

  • Partition Links into B files

    • Linksi only has some of the dest nodes for each source

    • Linksi only has dest nodes such that

      • DD*i <= dest < DD*(i+1)

      • Where DD = number of 32 bit integers that fit in D pages

source node


dest node


Links (sparse)


Partitioned link file l.jpg
Partitioned Link File

Source node

(32 bit int)


(16 bit)

Num out

(16 bit)

Destination nodes

(32 bit int)




12, 26










1, 9, 10





























Analysis of block algorithm l.jpg
Analysis of Block Algorithm

  • IO Cost per iteration =

    • B*| Source| + | Dest| + | Links|*(1+e)

    • e is factor by which Links increased in size

      • Typically 0.1-0.3

      • Depends on number of blocks

  • Algorithm ~ nested-loops join

Effect of collusion on pagerank l.jpg

Assuming a=0.8 and K=[1/3]






Effect of collusion on PageRank







Moral: By referring to each other, a cluster of pages can artificially boost

their rank (although the cluster has to be big enough to make an

appreciable difference.

Solution: Put a threshold on the number of intra-domain links that will count

Counter: Buy two domains, and generate a cluster among those..

Topic specific pagerank l.jpg


WWW 2002

Topic Specific Pagerank

  • For each page compute k different page ranks

    • K= number of top level hierarchies in the Open Directory Project

    • When computing PageRank w.r.t. to a topic, say that with e probability we transition to one of the pages of the topick

  • When a query q is issued,

    • Compute similarity between q (+ its context) to each of the topics

    • Take the weighted combination of the topic specific page ranks of q, weighted by the similarity to different topics

Slide55 l.jpg

Stability of Rank


(From Ng et. al. )

The left most column

Shows the original rank


-the columns on the right

are result of rank


when 30% of pages are

randomly removed

Slide57 l.jpg

Can be done

For base set too

Can be done

For full web too

Query relevance vs. query time computation tradeoff

See topic-specific

Page-rank idea..

More stable because

random surfer model

allows low prob edges

to every place.CV

Can be made stable with subspace-based

A/H values [see Ng. et al.; 2001]

Summary of key points l.jpg
Summary of Key Points

  • PageRank Iterative Algorithm

  • Rank Sinks

  • Efficiency of computation – Memory!

    • Single precision Numbers.

    • Don’t represent M* explicitly.

    • Break arrays into Blocks.

    • Minimize IO Cost.

  • Number of iterations of PageRank.

  • Weighting of PageRank vs. doc similarity.

Challenges in web search engines l.jpg


Text Spam

Link Spam


Content Quality

Anchor text quality

Quality Evaluation

Indirect feedback

Web Conventions

Articulate and develop validation

Duplicate Hosts

Mirror detection

Vaguely Structured Data

Page layout

The advantage of making rendering/content language be same

Challenges in Web Search Engines

Fighting page spam l.jpg
Fighting Page Spam

We saw discussion of

these in the Henzinger

et. Al. paper

Can social networks, which gave

rise to the ideas of page importance


also rescue these computations

from spam?

Trustrank idea l.jpg
TrustRank idea

[Gyongyi et al, VLDB 2004]

  • Tweak the “default” distribution used in page rank computation (the distribution that a bored user uses when she doesn’t want to follow the links)

    • From uniform

    • To “Trust based”

      • Very similar in spirit to the Topic-sensitive or User-sensitive page rank

        • Where too you fiddle with the default distribution

  • Sample a set of “seed pages” from the web

  • Have an oracle (human) identify the good pages and the spam pages in the seed set

    • Expensive task, so must make seed set as small as possible

  • Propagate Trust (one pass)

  • Use the normalized trust to set the initial distribution

Slides modified from Anand Rajaraman’s lecture at Stanford

Rules for trust propagation l.jpg
Rules for trust propagation

  • Trust attenuation

    • The degree of trust conferred by a trusted page decreases with distance

  • Trust splitting

    • The larger the number of outlinks from a page, the less scrutiny the page author gives each outlink

    • Trust is “split” across outlinks

  • Combining splitting and damping, each out link of a node p gets a propagated trust of: b*t(p)/|O(p)|

    • 0<b<1; O(p) is the out degree and t(p) is the trust of p

  • Trust additivity

    • Propagated trust from different directions is added up

Picking the seed set l.jpg
Picking the seed set

  • Two conflicting considerations

    • Human has to inspect each seed page, so seed set must be as small as possible

    • Must ensure every “good page” gets adequate trust rank, so need make all good pages reachable from seed set by short paths

Approaches to picking seed set l.jpg
Approaches to picking seed set

  • Suppose we want to pick a seed set of k pages

  • The best idea would be to pick them from the top-k hub pages.

    • Note that “trustworthiness” is subjective

      • Aljazeera may be considered more trustworthy than NY Times by some (and the reverse by others)

  • PageRank

    • Pick the top k pages by page rank

    • Assume high page rank pages are close to other highly ranked pages

    • We care more about high page rank “good” pages

Inverse page rank l.jpg
Inverse page rank

  • Pick the pages with the maximum number of outlinks

  • Can make it recursive

    • Pick pages that link to pages with many outlinks

  • Formalize as “inverse page rank”

    • Construct graph G’ by reversing each edge in web graph G

    • Page Rank in G’ is inverse page rank in G

  • Pick top k pages by inverse page rank

Anatomy of google circa 1999 l.jpg

Anatomy of Google(circa 1999)

Slides from


Some points l.jpg

Fancy hits?

Why two types of barrels?

How is indexing parallelized?

How does Google show that it doesn’t quite care about recall?

How does Google avoid crawling the same URL multiple times?

What are some of the memory saving things they do?

Do they use TF/IDF?

Do they normalize? (why not?)

Can they support proximity queries?

How are “page synopses” made?

Some points…

Types of web queries l.jpg
Types of Web Queries

  • Navigational

    • User is looking for the address of a specific page (so the “relevant” set is a singleton!)

      • Success on these is responsible for much of the “OOooo” appeal of search engines..

  • Informational

    • User is trying to learn information about a specific topic (so the relevant set can be non-singleton)

  • Transactional

    • The user is searching with the final aim of conducting a transaction on that page..

      • E.g. comparison shopping

Search engine size over time l.jpg

The “google” paper

Discusses google’s

Architecture circa 99

Search Engine Size over Time

Number of indexed pages, self-reported

Google: 50% of the web?

Information from searchenginewatch.com

Slide70 l.jpg

Google Search Engine Architecture

URL Server- Provides URLs to be


Crawler is distributed

Store Server - compresses and

stores pages for indexing

Repository - holds pages for indexing

(full HTML of every page)

Indexer - parses documents, records

words, positions, font size, and


Lexicon - list of unique words found

HitList – efficient record of word locs+attribs

Barrels hold (docID, (wordID, hitList*)*)*

sorted: each barrel has range of words

Anchors - keep information about links

found in web pages

URL Resolver - converts relative

URLs to absolute

Sorter - generates Doc Index

Doc Index - inverted index of all words

in all documents (except stop


Links - stores info about links to each

page (used for Pagerank)

Pagerank - computes a rank for each

page retrieved

Searcher - answers queries


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Major Data Structures

  • Big Files

    • virtual files spanning multiple file systems

    • addressable by 64 bit integers

    • handles allocation & deallocation of File Descriptions since the OS’s is not enough

    • supports rudimentary compression

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Major Data Structures (2)

  • Repository

    • tradeoff between speed & compression ratio

    • choose zlib (3 to 1) over bzip (4 to 1)

    • requires no other data structure to access it

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Major Data Structures (3)

  • Document Index

    • keeps information about each document

    • fixed width ISAM (index sequential access mode) index

    • includes various statistics

      • pointer to repository, if crawled, pointer to info lists

    • compact data structure

    • we can fetch a record in 1 disk seek during search

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Major Data Structures (4)

  • Lexicon

    • can fit in memory for reasonable price

      • currently 256 MB

      • contains 14 million words

      • 2 parts

        • a list of words

        • a hash table

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Major Data Structures (4)

  • Hit Lists

    • includes position font & capitalization

    • account for most of the space used in the indexes

    • 3 alternatives: simple, Huffman , hand-optimized

    • hand encoding uses 2 bytes for every hit

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Major Data Structures (5)

  • Forward Index

    • partially ordered

    • used 64 Barrels

    • each Barrel holds a range of wordIDs

    • requires slightly more storage

    • each wordID is stored as a relative difference from the minimum wordID of the Barrel

    • saves considerable time in the sorting

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Major Data Structures (6)

  • Inverted Index

    • 64 Barrels (same as the Forward Index)

    • for each wordID the Lexicon contains a pointer to the Barrel that wordID falls into

    • the pointer points to a doclist with their hit list

    • the order of the docIDs is important

      • by docID or doc word-ranking

        • Two inverted barrels—the short barrel/full barrel

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Major Data Structures (7)

  • Crawling the Web

    • fast distributed crawling system

    • URLserver & Crawlers are implemented in phyton

    • each Crawler keeps about 300 connection open

    • at peek time the rate - 100 pages, 600K per second

    • uses: internal cached DNS lookup

      • synchronized IO to handle events

      • number of queues

  • Robust & Carefully tested

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Major Data Structures (8)

  • Indexing the Web

    • Parsing

      • should know to handle errors

        • HTML typos

        • kb of zeros in a middle of a TAG

        • non-ASCII characters

        • HTML Tags nested hundreds deep

      • Developed their own Parser

        • involved a fair amount of work

        • did not cause a bottleneck

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Major Data Structures (9)

  • Indexing Documents into Barrels

    • turning words into wordIDs

    • in-memory hash table - the Lexicon

    • new additions are logged to a file

    • parallelization

      • shared lexicon of 14 million pages

      • log of all the extra words

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Major Data Structures (10)

  • Indexing the Web

    • Sorting

      • creating the inverted index

      • produces two types of barrels

        • for titles and anchor (Short barrels)

        • for full text (full barrels)

      • sorts every barrel separately

      • running sorters at parallel

      • the sorting is done in main memory

Ranking looks at

Short barrels first

And then full barrels

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1. Parse the query

2. Convert word into wordIDs

3. Seek to the start of the doclist in the short barrel for every word

4. Scan through the doclists until there is a document that matches all of the search terms

5. Compute the rank of that document

6. If we’re at the end of the short barrels start at the doclists of the full barrel, unless we have enough

7. If were not at the end of any doclist goto step 4

8. Sort the documents by rank return the top K

(May jump here after 40k pages)


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The Ranking System

  • The information

    • Position, Font Size, Capitalization

    • Anchor Text

    • PageRank

  • Hits Types

    • title ,anchor , URL etc..

    • small font, large font etc..

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The Ranking System (2)

  • Each Hit type has it’s own weight

    • Counts weights increase linearly with counts at first but quickly taper off this is the IR score of the doc

    • (IDF weighting??)

  • the IR is combined with PageRank to give the final Rank

  • For multi-word query

    • A proximity score for every set of hits with a proximity type weight

      • 10 grades of proximity

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  • A trusted user may optionally evaluate the results

  • The feedback is saved

  • When modifying the ranking function we can see the impact of this change on all previous searches that were ranked

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  • Produce better results than major commercial search engines for most searches

  • Example: query “bill clinton”

    • return results from the “Whitehouse.gov”

    • email addresses of the president

    • all the results are high quality pages

    • no broken links

    • no bill without clinton & no clinton without bill

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Storage Requirements

  • Using Compression on the repository

  • about 55 GB for all the data used by the SE

  • most of the queries can be answered by just the short inverted index

  • with better compression, a high quality SE can fit onto a 7GB drive of a new PC

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Web Page Statistics

Storage Statistics

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System Performance

  • It took 9 days to download 26million pages

  • 48.5 pages per second

  • The Indexer & Crawler ran simultaneously

  • The Indexer runs at 54 pages per second

  • The sorters run in parallel using 4 machines, the whole process took 24 hours