Clustering-based incremental web crawling

Qingzhao Tan, Prasenjit Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (SciVal)


When crawling resources, for example, number of machines, crawl-time, and so on, are limited, so a crawler has to decide an optimal order in which to crawl and recrawl Web pages. Ideally, crawlers should request only those Web pages that have changed since the last crawl; in practice, a crawler may not know whether a Web page has changed before downloading it. In this article, we identify features of Web pages that are correlated to their change frequency. We design a crawling algorithm that clusters Web pages based on features that correlate to their change frequencies obtained by examining past history. The crawler downloads a sample of Web pages from each cluster, and depending upon whether a significant number of these Web pages have changed in the last crawl cycle, it decides whether to recrawl the entire cluster. To evaluate the performance of our incremental crawler, we develop an evaluation framework that measures which crawling policy results in the best search results for the end-user. We run experiments on a real Web data set of about 300,000 distinct URLs distributed among 210 Web sites. The results demonstrate that the clustering-based sampling algorithm effectively clusters the pages with similar change patterns, and our clustering-based crawling algorithm outperforms existing algorithms in that it can improve the quality of the user experience for those who query the search engine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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