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Searching the Social Web

Final Report Summary - SOCWEB (Searching the Social Web)

In this project we studied how Social Networks can improve the daily life of users while searching and accessing information on the Web. To this end, our goal was to leverage the information contained within the users’ social networks that are abundant today. In this project, we organized our research around the following four thrusts. a) Social Network Data Management: We studied how to efficiently monitor, download and manage the constantly evolving social Web data. b) Socially-Aware Results: We studied how we should take into account a user's Social Network during Web information searches. c) Social Searches: We studied how we can enable users to save and share their Web searches with other users. d) Social Trust: We studied how to determine which user is trustworthy and knowledgeable on a given topic.

The work performed during the project has resulted in several publications in top conferences and journals. Part of the work has formed the basis of two completed M.Sc. theses: one by Panagiotis Liakos from University of Athens titled “Topic-Sensitive Hidden-Web Crawling” and one by Fotis Psallidas also at University of Athens, titled “Efficient Monitoring of Network Activities”. The work also supported a completed PhD dissertation by Margarita Karkali from the Athens University of Economics and Business titled “Data Mining Techniques on Web Personalization” and an ongoing PhD dissertation (Panagiotis Liakos from University of Athens). Our work provided new and improved techniques for discovering, retrieving, ranking and managing content in the Social Web.

The complete list of publications showcasing our work and findings of our project are:

* Rank-aware crawling of Hidden-Web sites. G. Valkanas, A. Ntoulas, G. Gunopulos. In Proceedings of the SIGMOD 2011 International Workshop on the Web and Databases, Athens, Greece.

* Topic Sensitive Hidden-Web Crawling. P. Liakos, A. Ntoulas. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Web Information System Engineering, 2012, Paphos, Cyprus.

* SocWeb: Efficient Monitoring of Social Network Activities. F. Psallidas, A. Ntoulas, A. Delis. In Proceedings of the Web Information System Engineering Conference, 2013, Nanjing, China.

* Efficient Online Novelty Detection in News Streams. M. Karkali, F. Rousseau, A. Ntoulas, M. Vazirgiannis. In Proceedings of the Web Information System Engineering Conference, 2013, Nanjing, China.

* P. Liakos, A. Ntoulas, A. Labrinidis, A. Delis. Focused Crawling for the Hidden Web. 2015. World Wide Web Journal (WWWJ), vol 18, no 3, 2015.

* Using temporal IDF for efficient novelty detection in text streams. M. Karkali, F. Rousseau, A. Ntoulas, M. Vazirgiannis. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (under review).

* Effective Detection of Overlapping Link Communities. P. Liakos, A. Delis, A. Ntoulas. IEEE International Conference of Data Mining 2015 (under review).

The project’s publications, results and the data that has been collected so far is available for other researchers to use from the project’s web site at: In this web site we also present a live demo of our implemented system for supporting social searches on the Web.

In terms of reintegration, the Fellow has been professionally fully re-integrated in the host country, currently holding an Assistant Professor faculty position in the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Athens.