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The Web and Social Networks
November 2002 (vol. 35 no. 11)
pp. 32-36
Ravi Kumar, IBM Almaden Research Center
Prabhakar Raghavan, Verity Inc.
Sridhar Rajagopalan, IBM Almaden Research Center
Andrew Tomkins, IBM Almaden Research Center

The sheer volume of Web data, together with its low signal-to-noise ratio, make it difficult for text-based search engines to locate high-quality pages. Analyzing the links between Web sites has dramatically improved the Web search experience and spawned research into the Web?s link structure. This research includes graph-theoretic studies of connectivity, which have shown the Web to have strong similarities with social networks.

Self-similarity is pervasive in social networks. While researchers have observed Web self-similarity in other contexts, finding a fractal structure in a graph-theoretic setting adds further evidence to the Web?s small-world social nature. Thus, researchers seek to explain and exploit the human behavior implicit in the Web?s evolving structure.

How can we combine the power of Web networks with networks resulting from other human activity? Accomplishing this goal represents knowledge management?s key challenge and opportunity.

Ravi Kumar, Prabhakar Raghavan, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Andrew Tomkins, "The Web and Social Networks," Computer, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 32-36, Nov. 2002, doi:10.1109/MC.2002.1046971
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