CS 5604: Information Storage and Retrieval - Webpages (WP) Team

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Virginia Tech


The first major goal of this project is to build a state-of-the-art information retrieval engine for searching webpages and for opening up access to existing and new webpage collections resulting from Digital Library Research Laboratory (DLRL) projects relating to eventsarchive.org. The task of the Webpage (WP) team was to provide the functionality of making any archived webpage accessible and indexed. The webpages can be obtained either through event focused crawlers or collections of data, such as WARC files containing webpages, or sets of tweets which contains embedded URLs. Toward completion of the project, the WP team worked on four major tasks: 1.) Contents of WARC files searchable through ElasticSearch. 2.) Contents of WARC files cleaned and searchable through ElasticSearch. 3.) Event focused crawler running and producing WARC files. 4.) Additional extracted/derived information (e.g., dates, classes) made searchable. The foundation of the software is a Docker container cluster employing Airflow, a Reasoner, and Kubernetes. The raw data of the information content of the given webpage collections is stored using the Network File System (NFS), while Ceph is used for persistent storage for the Docker containers. Retrieval, analysis, and visualization of the webpage collection is carried out with ElasticSearch and Kibana, respectively. These two technologies form an Elastic Stack application which serves as the vehicle with which the WP team indexes, maps, and stores the processed data and model outputs with regards to webpage collections. The software is co-designed by 7 team members of Virginia Tech graduate students, all members of the same computer science class, CS 5604: Information Storage and Retrieval. The course is taught by Professor Edward A. Fox. Dr. Fox structures the class in a way for his students to perform in a “mock” business development setting. In other words, the academic project submitted by the WP team for all intents and purposes can be viewed as a microcosm of software development within a corporate structure. This submission focuses on the work of the WP team, which creates and administers Docker containers such that various services are tested and deployed in whole. Said services pertain solely to the ingestion, cleansing, analysis, extraction, classification, and indexing of webpages and their respective content.



Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, Information Storage, Webpage Indexing, Text Classification, Text Summarization, Webpage Archiving