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Historically, the proliferation of information technology (IT) has radically changed the manner in which society and organizations interact. To date, none has had more of a profound impact than the Internet. Most researchers approach the diffusion of technology from a business perspective. This chapter shifts the attention of research to the community sector by exploring Web mining and examining the link topology through a structural analysis of the World Wide Web.
In order to gain any utility from the Internet, there must be some form of order imposed on the structure of the Web. Order can be imposed at the local level through the use of models designed to infer the validity and relevancy of content documents within a Web community. Researchers have discovered that the network structure of a hyperlink environment provides valuable information about the content of the environment. Since there is a growing number of community portals, there must be a focus on addressing some of the concerns and issues that these organizations are likely to face and developing models to better understand the structure of the Web.
Research on the structure and social organization of the Web is important because it provides a foundation for predicting how cyber-communities will develop and evolve. By creating a central portal, we can study the behavior of those users who traverse the graph. The results can lead to the creation of models that will improve the structure of the Web graph at the local level, which may have global implications.
In this chapter the author proposes a new subgraph model: the hub and spoke. The hub and spoke represents a cyber-community and provides a mechanism in which order can be imposed at the local level. In this model the hub is the nucleus (central portal) of the Web graph, and the spokes represent the members of the cyber-community. To address these issues, the link topology of the Web is analyzed in the context of a cyber-community. The central theme is to explore the connection between the link topology and conferral of authority.
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