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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Computer Science

First Advisor

Farshad Fotouhi


This dissertation describes research into a query-by-semantics approach to searching the World Wide Web. The research documented here extends existing work, which has focused on a querying-by-structure approach for the Web. This document presents a system that allows users to request documents containing not only specific content information, but also to specify that documents be of a certain type. The system captures and utilizes structure information as well as content during a distributed query of the Web. The system also allows the user the option of creating their own document type vectors by example documents. In addition, although the system gives users the option of dynamically querying the Web, the incorporation of a document database has greatly reduced the time involved in the search process. Based on extensive testing and validation presented herein, it is clear that a system that incorporates structure and semantic information into the query process can significantly improve search results over the standard keyword search.

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