Document Type



Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Vagelis Hristidis

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kaushik Dutta

Third Advisor's Name

Raju Rangaswami

Fourth Advisor's Name

Shu-Ching Chen

Fifth Advisor's Name

Tao Li


Graph Search, Database Ranking, Web Search, Information Retrieval, Document Summarization, Information Discovery

Date of Defense



Graph-structured databases are widely prevalent, and the problem of effective search and retrieval from such graphs has been receiving much attention recently. For example, the Web can be naturally viewed as a graph. Likewise, a relational database can be viewed as a graph where tuples are modeled as vertices connected via foreign-key relationships. Keyword search querying has emerged as one of the most effective paradigms for information discovery, especially over HTML documents in the World Wide Web. One of the key advantages of keyword search querying is its simplicity – users do not have to learn a complex query language, and can issue queries without any prior knowledge about the structure of the underlying data. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop techniques for user-friendly, high quality and efficient searching of graph structured databases. Several ranked search methods on data graphs have been studied in the recent years. Given a top-k keyword search query on a graph and some ranking criteria, a keyword proximity search finds the top-k answers where each answer is a substructure of the graph containing all query keywords, which illustrates the relationship between the keyword present in the graph. We applied keyword proximity search on the web and the page graph of web documents to find top-k answers that satisfy user’s information need and increase user satisfaction. Another effective ranking mechanism applied on data graphs is the authority flow based ranking mechanism. Given a top-k keyword search query on a graph, an authority-flow based search finds the top-k answers where each answer is a node in the graph ranked according to its relevance and importance to the query. We developed techniques that improved the authority flow based search on data graphs by creating a framework to explain and reformulate them taking in to consideration user preferences and feedback. We also applied the proposed graph search techniques for Information Discovery over biological databases. Our algorithms were experimentally evaluated for performance and quality. The quality of our method was compared to current approaches by using user surveys.





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