Baeza-Yates Plans Knowledge For Yahoo

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Ricardo Baeza-Yates joined Yahoo from the Center for Web Research in Chile in January 2006 and chatted about his plans for Yahoo Research on Yahoo’s Search blog.

Baeza-Yates heads the research labs in Chile and Spain for Yahoo, bringing along a rsum that places him among the world leaders in data mining and information retrieval.

His discussion posted at Yahoo touched on the formation of Yahoo’s new labs in Santiago and Barcelona, where Baeza-Yates has connections to the academic communities. Before joining Yahoo, he had founded and headed Chile’s Center for Web Research for about five years.

Here are some snippets from his question and answer session that may be of interest to our readers. The more gastronomic among you should visit the site to see his takes on wine and what Chilean dish should make it to Yahoo’s URLs cafeteria in Sunnyvale:

Q: What are your top three goals for incorporating web search and web data mining into Yahoo!’s research?

A: The main three goals for me are to explore the potential of all web-related information – to improve current systems, find new ideas for products or services, and discover new ways to analyze information – for many, many different purposes….I think utilizing our location as a tie-in to strengthen European search will be important – for example search in non-English languages.

Q: Do you find search usage patterns different in the various parts of the world?

A: In my experience the main usage patterns within search are not really different. The language changes, but the statistics are very similar….Perhaps this is a study we look to do in the future. I think usage patterns change according to the devices being used – going from a PC to a mobile device will change the patterns, and this could be influenced by regional locality or different cultural issues.

Q: How is the growth of social media, such as blogs, vlogs and social networks, impacting and challenging web search?

A: Social media implies user generated content – that is, people doing things like tagging content or media, commenting on pictures and text, etc. However, it also could imply other user actions, like clicking on links or asking queries. This contributed explicit and implicit knowledge can be used, for example, to improve search….So the main challenge is basically how to decode this information to better understand the Web, not as individual users, but as a collective aggregation of all of them.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Baeza-Yates Plans Knowledge For Yahoo
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