aardvarkFinalWWW2010

aardvarkFinalWWW2010 - The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social...

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The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social Search Engine Damon Horowitz Aardvark [email protected] Sepandar D. Kamvar Stanford University [email protected] ABSTRACT We present Aardvark, a social search engine. With Aard- vark, users ask a question, either by instant message, email, web input, text message, or voice. Aardvark then routes the question to the person in the user’s extended social network most likely to be able to answer that question. As compared to a traditional web search engine, where the challenge lies in finding the right document to satisfy a user’s information need, the challenge in a social search engine like Aardvark lies in finding the right person to satisfy a user’s information need. Further, while trust in a traditional search engine is based on authority, in a social search engine like Aardvark, trust is based on intimacy. We describe how these considera- tions inform the architecture, algorithms, and user interface of Aardvark, and how they are reflected in the behavior of Aardvark users. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The Library and the Village Traditionally, the basic paradigm in information retrieval has been the library. Indeed, the field of IR has roots in the library sciences, and Google itself came out of the Stan- ford Digital Library project [18]. While this paradigm has clearly worked well in several contexts, it ignores another age-old model for knowledge acquisition, which we shall call “the village paradigm”. In a village, knowledge dissemi- nation is achieved socially — information is passed from person to person, and the retrieval task consists of finding the right person, rather than the right document, to answer your question. The differences how people find information in a library versus a village suggest some useful principles for designing a social search engine. In a library, people use keywords to search, the knowledge base is created by a small number of content publishers before the questions are asked, and trust is based on authority. In a village, by contrast, people use natural language to ask questions, answers are generated in real-time by anyone in the community, and trust is based on intimacy. These properties have cascading effects — for example, real-time responses from socially proximal respon- ders tend to elicit (and work well for) highly contextualized and subjective queries. For example, the query “Do you have any good babysitter recommendations in Palo Alto for my 6-year-old twins? I’m looking for somebody that won’t Copyright is held by the author/owner(s). WWW2010 , April 26-30, 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina. . let them watch TV.” is better answered by a friend than the library. These differences in information retrieval paradigm require that a social search engine have very different archi- tecture, algorithms, and user interfaces than a search engine based on the library paradigm.
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2010 for the course ABORKER jong hyuk taught by Professor Mr.steve during the Fall '10 term at UAA.

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aardvarkFinalWWW2010 - The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social...

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