May 21, 2004

WWW 2004 Day 3

Radio City Music Hall
  • Keynote address by Mozelle Thopson, FTC: Spam is bad, Spyware is bad, Porn is bad, I'm busy fixing it all with the help of industry partners.
  • Keynote address by James J. Duderstadt, University of Michigan: The Internet is a disruptive technology. It is changing fast. It's affecting Universities. I'm at the forefront of getting universities to "get it."
  • The most interesting talk that I've seen this entire conference is a discussion of how memes propogate through blog-space. No big surprises: there are a few very influential individuals and lots of moderately influential people. There were a few off-hand comments made about how to leverage these people for various reasons (e.g., marketing) but I think they were poorly thought out. I think the reason why some people are influential is because they are insightful, they have a monopoly on a information channel, or they provide a service. The second person is the one who can be used to market a product, but the first and last are valuable because they will not market a product that they don't believe in. A better idea is to get the first and last to review your product and listen to what they say before marketing something.
  • More on target for this summer's research was an interesting talk on clustering web pages based on tree-edit distances. Since web news sites ( and many others ) are just a template that is filled out with database information it is possible to find the portions of the HTML tree which contain the interesting information. The interesting idea was that there is an algorithm which will figure on the tree-edit distance of two trees. So two trees can be generalized into a single tree with various wildcard nodes. This suggests a method of merging two RFID traces from the anesthesiologists in an interesting way. The presence of a tree might map well to a hierarchical representation of the task. The tree-merge / tree-edit technique might do a good job of merging different expert traces. One of the questions he received was: Why didn't he use XPath to represent the general tree? Good question. Maybe there are XPath algorithms that will generalize two trees.
Posted by djp3 at May 21, 2004 6:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

The paper on blogs was:
Information Diffusion Through Blogspace (page 491)
D. Gruhl, R. Guha, IBM Research, Almaden
D. Liben-Nowell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A. Tomkins, IBM Research, Almaden

Posted by: Don at May 26, 2004 7:40 AM

Mike Perkowitz wrote a really nice summary of the conference themes at

Posted by: Don at May 26, 2004 5:26 PM
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