Out of the four technology tutorials we have at HeadStart and Compute 2009, the one on Search and Social platforms takes on some very interesting aspects and the future of Search and Social networks.
Search engines and Social networks have evolved separately from each other till now but their future is expected to have to do with each other a lot more than in the past. For example, in a search engine in the not too distant future, you may be able to put in a query that requires results to be ranked by references from people. Similarly, searching for people by not just interest areas but by how influential they are in a particular area of interest should become possible. All these use cases suggest that social graphs (exposed by social networks) and link graphs (exposed by search engines) may be put to use together to yield better search results and social features.
The tutorial will start with an introduction by Yahoo Research on how traditional search engines have worked and a talk about research directions in search. Yahoo will also talk about their BOSS APIs which allow developers to retrieve ranked lists of search results and then apply their own ranking algorithms before presenting search results to users.
This will be followed by an hour long talk on Social platforms and standards with specific references to how OpenSocial containers (Orkut, Hi5, MySpace, Yahoo all use OpenSocial containers) work and how they can be extended by developers to build social networks of their own. This will also cover how, for example, semantic markers, can be added to actions taken in a social network by its users. Adding action semantics are expected to be useful to better search in the future.
The tutorial will then conclude with a talk on Social network analysis and its implications for knowledge discovery by Dr Jai Ganesh of SET Labs, Infosys. Social Network Analysis (SNA) relates to mapping, understanding, analyzing and measuring interactions across a network of people. Using SNA, search engines can explore questions related to social networks such as Who are the members to watch?, What are they saying?, Where do they interact?, Strength of interactions, Emergence of sub-groups? etc. This session will discuss the Social Network Analysis (SNA) and its implications for knowledge discovery in Informal Networks.
Register now for this tutorial, the Rs 500/- charged for it will be well worth it.