Web Dragons
Inside the Myths of Search Engine Technology
By Ian H. Witten, Marco Gori, Teresa Numerico
Publisher: Elsevier / Morgan Kaufmann
Final Release Date: July 2010
Pages: 288

In the eye-blink that has elapsed since the turn of the millennium, the lives of those of us who work with information have been utterly transformed. Pretty well all we need to know is on the web; if not today, then tomorrow. It's where we learn and play, shop and do business, keep up with old friends and meet new ones. What makes it possible for us to find the stuff we need to know? Search engines.

Search engines - "web dragons" - are the portals through which we access society's treasure trove of information. How do they stack up against librarians, the gatekeepers over centuries past? What role will libraries play in a world whose information is ruled by the web? How is the web organized? Who controls its contents, and how do they do it? How do search engines work? How can web visibility be exploited by those who want to sell us their wares? What's coming tomorrow, and can we influence it? We are witnessing the dawn of a new era, starting right now - and this book shows you what it will look like and how it will change your world.

Do you use search engines every day? Are you a developer or a librarian, helping others with their information needs? A researcher or journalist for whom the web has changed the very way you work? An online marketer or site designer, whose career exists because of the web? Whoever you are: if you care about information, this book will open your eyes - and make you blink.

About the authors:
Ian H. Witten is professor of computer science at the University of Waikato, where he directs the New Zealand Digital Library research project. He has published widely on digital libraries, machine learning, text compression, hypertext, speech synthesis and signal processing, and computer typography. A fellow of the ACM, he has written several books, including How to Build a Digital Library (2002) and Data Mining (2005), both from Morgan Kaufmann.

Marco Gori is professor of computer science at the University of Siena, where he leads the artificial intelligence research group. He is the Chairman of the Italian Chapter of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, a fellow of the IEEE and of the ECCAI, and former President of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence.

Teresa Numerico teaches network theory and communication studies at the University of Rome 3, and is a researcher in Philosophy of Science at the University of Salerno. Previously she was employed as a business development and marketing manager for various media companies, including the Italian branch of Turner Broadcasting System (CNN and Cartoon Network).

Presents a critical view of the idea of funneling information access through a small handful of gateways and the notion of a centralized index--and the problems that may cause.

Provides promising approaches for addressing the problems, such as the personalization of web services.

Presented by authorities in the field of digital libraries, web history, machine learning, and web and data mining.

Find more information at the author's site: webdragons.net.

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