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Web Structure Mining


The goal of Web structure mining is to generate structural summary about the Web site and Web page. Technically, Web content mining mainly focuses on the structure of inner-document, while Web structure mining tries to discover the link structure of the hyperlinks at the inter-document level. Based on the topology of the hyperlinks, Web structure mining will categorize the Web pages and generate the information, such as the similarity and relationship between different Web sites.

Web structure mining can also have another direction -- discovering the structure of Web document itself. This type of structure mining can be used to reveal the structure (schema) of Web pages, this would be good for navigation purpose and make it possible to compare/integrate Web page schemes. This type of structure mining will facilitate introducing database techniques for accessing information in Web pages by providing a reference schema. The detailed works on it can be referred to [Madria 1999].

What is on earth the structural information, and how to discover it? S.Madria et al. [Madria 1999] gave a detailed description about how to discover interesting and informative facts describing the connectivity in the Web subset, based on the given collection of interconnected web documents. The structural information generated from the Web structure mining includes the follows: the information measuring the frequency of the local links in the Web tuples in a Web table; the information measuring the frequency of Web tuples in a Web table containing links that are interior and the links that are within the same document; the information measuring the frequency of Web tuples in a Web table that contains links that are global and the links that span different Web sites; the information measuring the frequency of identical Web tuples that appear in the Web table or among the Web tables.

In general, if a Web page is linked to another Web page directly, or the Web pages are neighbors, we would like to discover the relationships among those Web pages. The relations maybe fall in one of the types, such as they related by synonyms or ontology, they may have similar contents, both of them may sit in the same Web server therefore created by the same person. Another task of Web structure mining is to discover the nature of the hierarchy or network of hyperlink in the Web sites of a particular domain. This may help to generalize the flow of information in Web sites that may represent some particular domain, therefore the query processing will be easier and more efficient.

Web structure mining has a nature relation with the Web content mining, since it is very likely that the Web documents contain links, and they both use the real or primary data on the Web. It's quite often to combine these two mining tasks in an application.