Is Agent-based Online Search Feasible?

Filippo Menczer

The scalability limitations of the current state of the art in Web search technology lead us to explore alternative approaches to centralized indexing, such as agent-based online search. The possible advantages of searching online, or agent-based browsing, are often down-played in the face of the apparently unquestionable loss of efficiency. This paper is an attempt to reach a more balanced view in which both the obvious and hidden costs of the two approaches are considered. The two approaches can then be compared more fairly, and possible complementarities and synergies are explored.

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