Clustering refers to the use of two or more computer systems or multiple servers linked together to handle varying workloads and ensure continuous operation in the event that one fails. It could also refer to data clustering, which is a data analysis technique that divides a data set into subsets with similar characteristics. By organising search results into folders that group similar items together, search result clustering aims to change the way people search online.
Why Is Clustering Necessary?
The vast amount of information available on the internet cannot be fully utilised unless an effective method of organising it is available. Search results are grouped together by clustering engines based on textual and linguistic similarity. Heuristics, which are coded by programmers and based on the users’ preferences for what they want to see on clustered documents, support this basic similarity. Clusters are presented in a folder and sub-folder format.
When a search engine returns millions of results for a given query, the user has the option of sifting through the endless pages of results or trusting the search engine’s judgement on the most relevant results. Neither can guarantee that the targeted information will be found, as it may be buried beneath pages of results or fail to meet the search engine’s requirements. In the same way that everything else is clustered or organised, the world of web searching would be more useful if organised search results were available.
Clustering engines group search results into categories based on the words and phrases found in the results. Categories are designed to achieve human-level precision and provide hierarchical drill doom functionality in a familiar folder-style interface. The main themes are visible in the first 300 – 500 results on the first page, eliminating the need to scroll through or ignore mind-numbing lists. A quick overview of the different types of information available on a specific topic is provided so that the area of interest can be quickly focused.
It became more difficult to navigate meaningfully through all of the results as search engines’ ability to return a large number of relevant results improved. A typical searcher does not look past the first page of results, making it very likely that he or she will miss results that are relevant and useful to his or her search or query. Clusters allow results from the tenth page to be accessed with a single click. Without much effort, related items can also be viewed together. It also reveals surprising connections between words, ideas, and concepts.
If a cluster has a readable description, it is considered good. It should be able to help narrow down a search so that precise results can be found. Multiple search engines are queried by a clustering engine, which then combines the results to be clustered and displayed on a single screen. Each result list includes information about the total number of clustered and retrieved results. The pages to be favoured will be determined by the clustering engine’s own heuristics. Multiple copies of the same page with slightly different URLs are occasionally returned by search engines, but this is minimised in search result clustering. Because clustering engines do not replicate results with similar descriptions, this is the case. Repeated documents are extremely rare because clusters are so specific. Some are able to provide advanced search features that allow users to specify which sources should be searched, the number of results they want, the amount of time they want to wait, the language they want to use, and whether or not offensive content should be filtered out.
Clustering Search Engines
Google Sets don’t give you results; instead, they help you find terms that are similar to the ones you entered. This allows the user to create more complex queries in one place and brainstorm ways to put together a search. Google Sets is a clustering agent developed by Google Labs.
Wisenut is a full-text search engine that offers related topics in addition to a list of results for any search term entered. This is referred to as the WiseGuide. Some of the results will have subtopics that will be displayed beneath the clustered results. Each of the clustered results has a link next to it with keywords that can be used to run another search. In addition to the web page results, a different set of clustered results will be generated. LookSmart has purchased this search engine.
Because of its intriguing clustering technology, Teoma has been dubbed the “Google Killer.” Four sets of results will be returned from a single search run. Sponsored results appear at the top left, website non-sponsored results appear at the bottom, suggestions for refining the result appear at the top right, and link calculations from experts and enthusiasts appear at the bottom right. The link collections are appropriate for general information needs, whereas the suggestions are appropriate for more specific searches. A click on any of these will cause the search to run again, resulting in a new set of site results. AskJeeves has made a purchase of Teoma.
Infonetware.com is a search engine that serves as a demonstration of Infonetware’s Real Term Technology. The search results page is framed, with the left frame containing topics related to the search term and the right frame containing web page search results. It’s compatible with full-text searching.
Oingo’s search engine is based on the Open Directory Project. A drop-down list of possible meanings appears on the search results page. Below it, you’ll find a list of categories in order of relevance to the search, as well as site results from the directory itself. It’s better for searching for general terms or terms that fall into a broad category.
Vivisimo is a meta-search engine that groups its results into categories. It has a very straightforward front page with search results organised into groups. The layout of the page allows you to jump around between categories without losing your place. Vivisimo owns and operates Clusty, a consumer search platform. It searches Ask, MSN, Open Directory, LookSmart, Gigablast, and WiseNut for information. These websites were chosen for their accuracy and quick response times.
On the left side of the front page, Query Server provides a variety of search options. Each search has a similar interface, and all of the results are grouped together. The site’s search results are displayed in a frame on the right side.
Both paid and free services are available through Surfwax. Following a search, a focus link appears in the upper left corner. In addition to the search term, these focus words can be used. They’re divided into narrower and broader categories, and they’re made up of generic words rather than references to specific people or locations.
For a search to be clustered into folders in Northern Light News, it must have a certain number of results. Although there are subfolders for broad topics, folder listing does not provide information about the contents of a particular folder. The search results are sorted by date.
Several hundred results are broken up into manageable packages by clustering search engines. Suggestions are provided to maximise the use of information and make the search process easier. A search query can’t always be precise enough to find exactly what you’re looking for all at once.