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The Webgraph is the directed graph produced by the World Wide Web's hyperlinked structure: its nodes are static html pages, and its edges are the hyperlinks between two pages. Since the early '90s, the Web has grown exponentially - a trend we expect will continue. Today's Webgraph has several billion edges, but in spite of its size, it exhibits a well-defined structure characterized by several properties. In the past few years, several research papers have reported these properties and proposed various random graph models. We simulated several of these models and compared them against a 300-million-node sample of the Webgraph provided by the Stanford WebBase project (http://www-diglib.stanford.edu/∼testbed/doc2/WebBase/). All the software we developed to perform this comparison is free to download from the European Research Project COSIN Web site (www.cosin.org). Over the past six years, computer scientists, economists, mathematicians, and physicists have extensively studied the Webgraph's properties. All this research was motivated primarily by the need to efficiently mine the huge quantities of information on the Web - information that is often distributed among several pages. The first major discovery concerned in-degree, an intuitive and simplistic measure of page importance. (Each node in a directed graph is characterized by in-degree and out-degree - the number of incoming and outgoing links, respectively).
Date of Publication: Nov.-Dec. 2004