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Understanding Search Engines: Mathematical Modeling and Text Retrieval (Software, Environments and Tools) Paperback – 1 May 2005
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'There is no other information retrieval/search book where the heart is the mathematical foundations. This book is greatly needed to further establish information retrieval as a serious academic, as well as practical and industrial, area.' Jaime Carbonell, Carnegie Mellon University
'Berry and Browne describe most of what you need to know to design your own search engine. Their strength is the description of the solid mathematical underpinnings at a level that is understandable to competent engineering undergraduates, perhaps with a bit of instructor guidance. They discuss the algorithms used by most commercial search engines, so you may find your use of Google and its kind becomes more effective, too.' George Corliss, Marquette University.
'This book gives a valuable, generally non-technical, insight into how search engines work, how to improve the users' success in Information Retrieval (IR), and an in-depth analysis of a mathematical algorithm for improving a search engine's performance. …Written in an informal style, the book is easy to read and is a good introduction on how search engines operate…' Christopher Dean, Mathematics Today
'Anyone interested in building their own search engine, or looking for a compact and readable introduction to the field of modern information retrieval will find this book to be an excellent first introduction.' Tony Donaldson, MAA Reviews
The second edition of this text covers many of the key design issues for building search engines, emphasizing the important role that applied mathematics plays in improving information retrieval. Important data structures, algorithms, and software are discussed, as well as user-centered issues such as interfaces, manual indexing, and document preparation.See all Product description
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The author fully acomplishes the objective: teach his reader, at undergratuate level, how search engines work. Even some difficult subject, such as LSI, are treated at a level one can easilly understand.
One of the most important characteristics of the book is that it does math. Every formula has an example, usually using small matrix that allow the reader to easilly follow them.
The book is suitable for an objective introduction to the field. It is not very "academic", in the sense it is rather informal. If it is not a textbook, it could help some bewildered student to grasp the inner workings. It could also help a teacher to find clearer ways for explanations and good examples for classroom.
LSI search engine is good for small document system only. Other searching methods such as HITS and PageRank are introduced. For the readers who have the background on linear algebra, numerical linear algebra, and search engine should find this book interesting.
Generally speaking, the book is brief. It has 117 pages and 9 chapters. The nine chapters are Introduction, Document File Preparation, Vector Space Models, Matrix Decompositions, Query Management, Ranking and Relevance Feedback, Searching by Link Structure, User Interface Considerations, and Further Reading. Chapter two (Document File Preparation) reminds the readers that the documents of the system needed to be "clean-up" and index. The works may require plenty of manual labor.
However, the discussions about latent semantic indexing and querying based on link structure are more detailed in comparison and both topics are mentioned within the context of linear algebra.
Don't expect an introduction to QR or SVD matrix decompositions or what an eigenspace is. Also, don't expect a proper definition of what a graph is. For all of this, you will also have to refer to another book. If you do not need such an introduction, then you may not mind.
Overall, the book attempts to do too many topics in few pages and suffers from this. However, if you are looking for a "crash course in search engines"-type book, then this might be the one for you. You may end up buying another book afterwards if you want to know implementation details, though.
This book is good for beginners in search engines field but not for the money it costs now.
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