Binghamton University professor Weiyi Meng, along with researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, have developed metasearch-engine technology that uses many small search engines to generate results that are more accurate and complete than traditional search engines. Meng says Web users will soon be able to submit a question to an Internet search engine and receive an actual answer, rather than a link to a Web page. He says that most of the pages of the deep Web are not directly crawlable, so his metasearch technology connects to small search engines to reach into the deep Web. “In principle, small guys are much better able to maintain the freshness of their data,” Meng says. “Google has a program to ‘crawl’ all over the world. Depending on when the crawler has last visited your server, there’s a delay of days or weeks before a new page will show up in that search. We can get fresher results.” He has developed prototype technology that, for example, would allow for a search of all 64 campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, as well as the SUNY central administration. Meng says people could use this to find collaborators working on similar projects or help prospective students find programs they are interested in. The technology also could be adapted for large companies or the government.
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