12/15/2010

Lecture Notes - AltaVista Indexing and Search Engine

01/18/2000, Michael Burrows gave a technical presentation  at UW. In this video, he talked about the design of the AltaVista indexing system and the search engine site. The presentation is short and brief, but covers many core design and concepts which are used in today's commercial search engine systems.

The presentation video can be found at uwtv: http://uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rid=2123

And I had recreated the PPT used in his video for further use. I tried my best to record the text and redraw the diagrams, but there may be many errors during this process. The copyright is of Mike.
I think the most interesting design is the Location Space and ISR abstraction. The first one enables store any information using inverted index mechanism and the second one solve the problem of interpreting complicated search query semantic.

But it's not easy to fully understand how the whole ISR system works to serve various query semantic.

And in the second part of his presentation, Mike mentioned many aspects of AltaVista search engine web site. Many of the experiences and designs are still good reference for today's Internet web application.


[Reference]
1. http://www.searchenginehistory.com/
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AltaVista

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