When the government starts tracking down collaborators

From: Grant Callaghan (grantc4@hotmail.com)
Date: Mon 28 Apr 2003 - 15:18:45 GMT

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    Net Scan Finds Like-Minded Users

    Technology Research News April 25, 2003

    When you search for information on the Web, chances are you aren't alone—there are like-minded groups of users across the Web searching for the same sorts of things.

    Researchers from the University of Chicago have shown that is possible to identify these groups by analyzing browsing patterns, even in networks as far-flung as the Web.

    The researchers' method of graphing information across data distribution systems like the Internet shows that, given a large enough sample, computer users can be grouped according to their common interests based only on their requests for data.

    The information-request graphing method can be used to design scalable, adaptive methods for locating and delivering data, and could theoretically be used by anyone, including e-commerce vendors, to target communities of interest.

    In an analysis of six months worth of scientists' requests for data, the researchers found that group-based collaboration is visible in the way the information is requested. The same pattern held in a larger analysis of general Web requests.

    The researchers are working on using the patterns to design more efficient services for resource-sharing environments like Grid computing. The resource location mechanisms could be ready for use within two years, according to the researchers.


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