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Thanos Papathanassiou ( of Crete, Computer Science Department, Institute of Computer Science, F.O.R.T.H.,

Faculty Advisor
Evangelos P. Markatos,, Assistant Professor

$9,000 on 12/97

One year support for one undergraduate student to develop resource discovery tools to help users discover new information on the Web.

Project USEwebNET: A Tool for Effective Resource Discovery On the World Wide Web Abstract
The world-wide web grows at alarming rates, making information retrieval an increasingly difficult process. Traditional search methods based on search-engines (like Alta-Vista, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, etc.) usually flood the users with an overwhelming number of URLs. If a user wants to stay up-to-date on some issue and (s)he repeatedly queries the above search engines, (s)he will be repeatedly flooded with (almost) the same set of URLs, out of which only a small percentage will point to new, previously unseen documents.

The aim of this project is to develop a resource discovery tool, called USEwebNET, built on top of traditional search engines. USEwebNET registers each user's interests and repeatedly queries several search engines for URLs matching a user's registered interests. USEwebNET keeps track of which URLs have been visited by each user. Thus, when a user invokes USEwebNET, (s)he is presented only with new or "unvisited" URLs. In this way users can focus only on the new information they are potentially interested in. We view USEwebNET as a value-added service on top of existing search engines and information providers, which helps users effectively find "what's new" in the rapidly evolving web of our world. The advantages of USEwebNET are:

1. It filters information so that users are able to focus on "what is new" and thus, they are able to follow developments on their field of interest. 
2. It helps users discover new information. 
3. It runs offline every night when telecommunication costs are low. 
4. It offloads busy web servers and proxies on the Internet (by running at night). 

Current Status as of 9/98
At this point the tool is fully operational. We are currently finishing up its documentation.

A full paper and a short paper describing USEwebNET have been published at Webnet 98:

Full Paper:
Evangelos P. Markatos, Christina Tziviskou, and Athanasios E. Papathanasiou: Effective Resource Discovery on the World Wide Web. In WebNet 98--World Conference of the WWW, Internet, and Intranet, Orlando, Florida, USA, 1998.

Work In Progress Short Paper:
Athanasios E. Papathanasiou, Evangelos P. Markatos, and Stavros A. Papadakis
PaperFinder: A Tool for Scalable Search of Digital Libraries
In WebNet 98--World Conference of the WWW, Internet, and Intranet, Orlando, Florida, USA, 1998.

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First posted: Mar 28, 1998 pc
Last changed: Nov 12, 1998 jr
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