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CS297 Proposal

Keyword Search in Social Networks

Vijeth Patil (

Advisor: Dr. Chris Pollett


The idea of this project is to access data (feeds, posts) from social networks and create a search engine over the collected data. The user of the system provides his credentials for the given social networks and then my search project will access the posts of the user and his friends in these networks. On a social network, a user has access to the documents authored by himself and to the documents authored by his friends. Social networking sites like Facebook allows you to search for a user but not the posts, while other sites like Twitter allow you to search based on keywords but not based on people you are following. My search provides the ability to search by keywords from the posts of a user's friend network. Social search provides richer sources for relevance information than traditional web pages. Some examples of this are ratings, relevant links, comments and interest in a topic. My project will use these additional signals to the enhance the search ranking function in ways that traditional search engines and social networks are not able to do. As an example of this, if the user searches for a product and sees that 20 of his friends also like the same product, they will immediately feel more comfortable and will be more likely to use that product. The same process occurs on Twitter. When a person sees his or her trusted followers already engaging with a business, it acts as an unspoken endorsement. Another example is that when a user searches for a keyword the user gets web resource bookmarks posted by their friends from social bookmarking service sites like which are more relevant as compared to the search results returned by which don't give preference to your friends's bookmarks.


Week 1,2 (24 Aug, 2011 - 3 Sep, 2011): Proposal for the project
Week 3,4,5,6 (4 Sep, 2011 - 1 Oct, 2011): Read the Data access API's from the social networks such Twitter, Facebook and implement the data access from one of the social networks
Week 7,8,9 (2 Oct, 2011 - 22 Oct, 2011): Read the data structuring and structure the data collected for crawling
Week 10,11,12,13 (23 Oct, 2011 - 19 Nov, 2011): Read on Crawling and modifying Yioop/Nutch to crawl data from social networking sites
Week 14,15,16 (20 Nov, 2011 - 10 Dec, 2011): Read the query processing models and create the advanced page ranking algorithm which takes into account the social factors


The full project will be done when CS298 is completed. The following will be done by the end of CS297:

1. Accessing feeds,posts of a user and his friends from social network such as Twitter, Facebook.

2. Modifying Yioop/Nutch to crawl the data from social networks.

3. Trying to get searching bookmarks from working.

4. Write up CS 297 Report.


[2010] Search in Social Networks with Access Control. Truls A. Björklund, Michaela Götz, Johannes Gehrke. ACM. 2010.

[2009] Personalized Social Search Based on the User's Social Network. David Carmel, Naama Zwerdling, Ido Guy, Shila Ofek-Koifman, Nadav Harel, Inbal Ronen, Erel Uziel, Sivan Yogev, Sergey Chernov. ACM. 2009