Monday, May 07, 2012
More than forty members of Google’s technical staff gathered in Lyon, France in April to participate in the global dialogue around the state of the web at the World Wide Web conference (WWW) 2012. A decade ago, Larry Page and Sergey Brin applied their research to an information retrieval problem and their work—presented at WWW in 1998—led to the invention of today’s most popular search engine.
As I've watched the WWW conference series evolve over the years, a couple of larger trends struck me in this year's edition. First, there seems to be more of a Mobile Web presence in the technical program, relative to recent years. The refereed program included several interesting Mobile papers, including the Best Student Paper Awardee from Stanford University researchers: Who Killed My Battery: Analyzing Mobile Browser Energy Consumption, Narendran Thiagarajan, Gaurav Aggarwal, Angela Nicoara, Dan Boneh, Jatinder Singh.
Second, one gets the sense that the WWW community is moving from the classic "bag of words" view of web pages, to an entity-centric view. There were a number of papers on identifying and using entities in Web pages. While I'm loathe to view this as a vindication of "the Semantic Web" (mainly because this has become an overloaded phrase that people elect to interpret as suits them), the technical capability to get at entities is clearly here. The question is -- what is the killer application? Finally, it’s nice to see that recommendation systems are becoming a major topic of focus at WWW. This paper was a personal favorite: Build Your Own Music Recommender by Modeling Internet Radio Streams, Natalie Aizenberg, Yehuda Koren, Oren Somekh.
In keeping with tradition, Google was a major supporter, sponsoring the conference, the Best Paper Award (Counting beyond a Yottabyte, or how SPARQL 1.1 Property Paths will prevent adoption of the standard, Marcelo Arenas, Sebastián Conca and Jorge Pérez) and four PhD student travel grants. We chatted with hundreds of attendees who hung out with us at the Google booth to chat and see demos about the latest Google product and research developments (see full schedule of booth talks).
Googlers were also active member of the vibrant research community at WWW:
David Assouline delivered the keynote for the Demo Track -- to a standing-room-only crowd -- on the Google Art Project, which uses a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our museum partners to create a unique online art experience. Googler Alon Halevy served as a program committee member. Googlers were also co-authors of the following papers:
- Risk-Aware Revenue Maximization in Display Advertising by Ana Radovanovic and William Heavlin (Googlers)
- SessionJuggler: Secure Web Login From an Untrusted Terminal Using Session Hijacking by Elie Bursztein (Googler), Chinmay Soman, Dan Boneh and John Mitchell
- Spotting Fake Reviewer Groups in Consumer Reviews by Arjun Murkherjee, Bing Liu, and Natalie Glance (Googler)
- Your Two Weeks of Fame and Your Grandmother’s by James Cook, Atish Das Sarma, Alexander Fabrikant and Andrew Tomkins (Googlers)
- YouTube Around the World: Geographic Popularity of Videos by Mirjam Wattenhofer (Googler), Anders Brodersen (Googler), and Salvatore Scellato
- Who Killed My Battery: Analyzing Mobile Browser Energy Consumption by Narendran Thiagarajan, Gaurav Aggarwal (Googler), Angela Nicoara, Dan Boneh and Jatinder Singh
- A Multimodal Search Engine based on Rich Unified Content Description by Thomas Steiner (Googler), Lorenzo Sutton, Sabine Spiller, Marilena Lazzaro, Francesco Saverio Nucci, Vincenzo Croce, Alberto Massari, Antonio Camurri, Anne Verroust-Blondet, Laurent Joyeux
- Enabling on-the-fly Video Shot Detection on YouTube by Thomas Steiner (Googler), Ruben Verborgh, Joaquim Gabarro, Michael Hausenblas, Raphael Troncy and Rik Van De Walle
- Fixing the Web one page at a time, or actually implementing xkcd #37 by Thomas Steiner (Googler), Ruben Verborgh, and Rik Van de Valle
- Appification of the Web by Ed Chi (Googler), Brian Davison, and Evgeniy Gabrilovich (Googler)
- Extracting Unambiguous Keywords from Microposts Using Web and Query Logs Data, as part of the Making Sense of Microsposts workshop by Davi Reis, Felipe Portavales Goldstein, and Fred Quintao (Googlers)
- Human Computation Must Be Reproducible, as part of the CrowdSearch: Crowdsourcing Web search workshop by Praveen Paritosh (Googler)
- WebQuality 2012: The Anti-Social Web by Zoltan Gyongyi (Googler), Carlos Castillo, Adam Jatowt, and Katsumi Tanaka
- The Role of Human-Generated and Automatically-Extracted Lexico-Semantic Resources in Web Search by Marius Pasca (Googler)
- Google Image Swirl by Yushi Jing, Henry Rowley, Jingbin Wang, David Tsai, Chuck Rosenberg, Michele Covell (Googlers)
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