Visualizing the Web

Summer 2011, Wellesley College Science Center Summer Research Awards project
Advisor Professor Panagiotis Takis Metaxas (Wellesely College CS)

01. Introduction

The Web is growing at an exponential speed, but is there a way to capture the big picture and sketch out what it looks like? Under the guidance of Professor Metaxas, I tackled this question and developed a Java-based application that assigns components of the Web Graph and enables graphic visualizations of the Web topology.

Organic/unstructured preferential attachment graph generated based on parameters 1000-10-80-20: 1000 nodes, up to 10 arcs per node, 80% probability that an arc will be created, and 20% nodes randomly selected to have no arc

02. Programming Process

The program was built based on the theory of Broder’s Bow Tie model, which classifies a single Web page (a node) into five identities: the core, in, out, tendril, and disconnected component based on its connectivity. Each connectivity was assigned using methods of preferential attachment and random attachment, and the rendered graphs were restructured manually using the yEd Graph Editor to imitate the shape of a bow tie.

Slides used for the student talk

Preferential attachment graph generated based on parameters 1000-10-80-20 graphically grouped and restructured based on 5 classifications identified in Broder's Bow Tie model

03. Final Poster

The Science Center Summer Research Program holds a poster session at the end of the research period that requires all students to present and share their findings. The final poster as seen below illustrates the research process in detail and walks through the methods used to construct the algorithm.