International Journal on Digital Libraries

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 223–238 | Cite as

Web archive profiling through CDX summarization

  • Sawood Alam
  • Michael L. Nelson
  • Herbert Van de Sompel
  • Lyudmila L. Balakireva
  • Harihar Shankar
  • David S. H. Rosenthal


With the proliferation of public web archives, it is becoming more important to better profile their contents, both to understand their immense holdings as well as to support routing of requests in the Memento aggregator. To save time, the Memento aggregator should only poll the archives that are likely to have a copy of the requested URI. Using the crawler index files produced after crawling, we can generate profiles of the archives that summarize their holdings and can be used to inform routing of the Memento aggregator’s URI requests. Previous work in profiling ranged from using full URIs (no false positives, but with large profiles) to using only top-level domains (TLDs) (smaller profiles, but with many false positives). This work explores strategies in between these two extremes. In our experiments, we correctly identified about 78 % of the URIs that were present or not present in the archive with less than 1 % relative cost as compared to the complete knowledge profile and 94 % URIs with less than 10 % relative cost without any false negatives. With respect to the TLD-only profile, the registered domain profile doubled the routing precision, while complete hostname and one path segment gave a tenfold increase in the routing precision.


Web archives Profiling CDX files Memento Query routing 



This work is supported in part by the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC). Andy Jackson (from the British Library) helped us with the UKWA datasets. Kris Carpenter (from the Internet Archive) and Joseph E. Ruettgers (from the Old Dominion University) helped us with the Archive-It datasets. Ahmed AlSum and Nicholas Taylor (from Stanford University Libraries) helped us with the Stanford datasets and by running our profiling script on Stanford archive. Ilya Kreymer contributed to the discussion about CDXJ profile serialization format.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  3. 3.Stanford University LibrariesStanfordUSA

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