The PageRank Algorithm and Web Search Engines

Meeting Time: Apr. 20, 2010, 2:00-2:50pm

Abstract: A key problem for large search engines is how to select the few best results from a vast number of somewhat relevant hits. The PageRank algorithm, developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergy Brin, has proven to be an extremely powerful tool in this area. In this talk I'll describe the algorithm and its motivation. The solution of the problem involves finding an eigenvector of a NxN matrix where N is of the order of the entire web (10's of billions of pages) and so issues of computational efficiency are paramount. If time allows, I'll talk about variants of the algorithm, and issues of stability in the face of a constantly changing web.