World Wide Web

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 89–110

Crawling ranked deep Web data sources



In the era of big data, the vast majority of the data are not from the surface Web, the Web that is interconnected by hyperlinks and indexed by most general purpose search engines. Instead, the trove of valuable data often reside in the deep Web, the Web that is hidden behind query interfaces. Since numerous applications, like data integration and vertical portals, require deep Web data, various crawling methods were developed for exhaustively harvesting a deep Web data source with the minimal (or near-minimal) cost. Most existing crawling methods assume that all the documents matched by queries are returned. In practice, data sources often return the top k matches. This makes exhaustive data harvesting difficult: highly ranked documents will be returned multiple times, while documents ranked low have small chance being returned. In this paper, we decompose this problem into two orthogonal sub-problems, i.e., query and ranking bias problems, and propose a document frequency based crawling method to overcome the ranking bias problem. The rational of our method is to use the queries whose document frequencies are within the specified range to avoid the effect of search ranking plus return limit and significantly reduce the difficulty of crawling ranked data source. The method is extensively tested on a variety of datasets and compared with two existing methods. The experimental result demonstrates that our method outperforms the two algorithms by 58 % and 90 % on average respectively.


Deep Web crawling Query selection Estimation Document frequency Return limit 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformationCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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