Improving Search In Social Networks by Agent Based Mining

Users share and access large volumes of information on social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr, del.icio.us, etc. Whereas a few of these sites have generic, impersonal searching mechanisms, we have developed an agent-based framework that mines the social network of a user to improve search results. Our Social Network-based Item Search (SNIS) system uses agents that utilize the connections of a user in the social network to facilitate the search for items of interest. Our approach generates targeted search results that can improve the precision of the result returned from a user's query. We have implemented the SNIS agent-based framework in Flickr, a photo-sharing social network, for searching for photos by using tag lists as search queries. We discuss the architecture of SNIS, motivate the searching scheme used, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the SNIS approach by presenting results. We also show how SNIS can be utilized for expertise location.

Anil Gursel, Sandip Sen