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PageRanks ability to track webpage quality: reconciling Googles wisdom-of-crowds justification with the scale-free structure of the web
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Culture and Aesthetics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Philosophy, Lund University, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Heliyon, ISSN 2405-8440, Vol. 4, no 11, article id e00978Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We address the fundamental question why we should use PageRank and similar link-based algorithms in search engines, if at all. In a legendary article from 1998, the Google founders gave an intriguing wisdom-of-crowds justification for PageRank according to which the latter tracks quality online. This striking suggestion stands in contrast to the view that PageRank merely tracks what is popular. However, Masterton and Olsson (2017) showed that web-ecologies generated by Google-like assumptions essentially fail to reflect the scale-free structure of the web. They pointed to attraction to popularity or a rich-get-richer effect being the likely main cause of scalefreeness. In this article, we explore dual models of linking behavior, i.e. models that combine attraction to importance (quality) with attraction to popularity. Our results, obtained through computer simulation, indicate that there exist dual models that give rise both to a wisdom-of-crowds effect for PageRank and to scale-free web-graphs, thus giving a partial vindication of the wisdom-of-crowds thesis for the real web. Future work should explore larger web-graphs as well as other aspects pertaining to the empirical plausibility of dual linking models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 4, no 11, article id e00978
Keywords [en]
Information science; Philosophy
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156058DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00978PubMedID: 30761370OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156058DiVA, id: diva2:1301760
Available from: 2019-04-02 Created: 2019-04-02 Last updated: 2019-04-02

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf