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Introduction to Search Engines and Web Navigation

Short name: ISEWN
SITS code: BUCI047H6
Credits: 15 credits
Level: 6
Module leader: Mark Levene
Lecturer(s): Mark Levene

Module outline

** NOT RUNNING IN 2017/18 **

This module covers the principle concepts underlying Search Engine and Navigation technologies within the context of the World-Wide-Web (WWW). It focuses on the technologies that help us understand:

(1) The structure of the Web; Web metrics.

(2) Finding information on the Web; Searching and navigating for information on the Web, and

(3) How people use the Web; Web data mining.


The main aims of the module are familiarise the student with the main technologies that underpin Search Engine and Navigation technologies within the context of the WWW, and how these are influencing the development of the WWW. An important aim of the course is to enable the student to experiment, through the coursework, with various technologies and to understand the convergence of these technologies within the WWW.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student is expected to:

  • Understand the main technologies that underpin Search and Navigation in the context of the WWW.
  • Be familiar with Search and Navigation technologies that manifest themselves within tools that are widely used within organisations.
  • Have the ability to identify the appropriate Search and Navigation technologies needed to solve problems relating to IT and commercial Internet strategies.
  • Have the ability to understand and tackle problems relating to IT, especially regarding the deployment of new Web technologies that affect work patterns within organizations.


  • How the WWW operates - some history and terminology.
  • The structure of the web.
  • Link analysis.
  • Searching the web.
  • Navigating the web.
  • Web usage mining.
  • Recommender Systems and Collaborative Filtering.
  • Web 2.0 and Collective Intelligence.


Some programming ability. ISD module for MSc IT or MSc CIC students; experience with a modern programming language otherwise.


All dates and timetables are listed in the programme handbooks of individual programmes.


See Online Material.


80% exam, 20% coursework

Recommended reading

An Introduction to Search Engines and Web Navigation, by M. Levene, published by Wiley, September 2010, 2nd Edition, ISBN: 978-0-470-52684-2