simulated annealing

Tim May tcmay at got.net
Sat Dec 9 07:54:34 CET 2000


In article <udwvddompp.fsf at box.home.de>, "Jochen Küpper" 
<jochen at pc1.uni-duesseldorf.de> wrote:

> Tim> Glad you have "found" Google. I had been hearing about how great it 
> was 
> Tim> for several months before trying it. 
> 
> Me too.
> 
> Tim> When I finally did, I realized how much better it was than Alta
> Tim> Vista and Metacrawler.  (I used to like Metacrawler because it,
> Tim> ostensibly, searches with N different search engines. In
> Tim> practice, it doesn't find as much as just Google does.)
> 
> It actually searches google! And that is why I was confident it was
> the right thing to use metacrawler...

Don't be misled by this claim. While it is claimed that Metacrawler 
searches N different other search engines, it often (usually) returns 
fewer results than Google does.

How can this be? Without researching the ins and outs carefully, I 
surmise it's the limitations the search engine companies place on 
Metacrawler using their system. After all, Yahoo, Infoseek, Lycos, and 
the other search engine companies make some/most of their money from 
advertising. So if Metacrawler searches N of them and puts its _own_ 
advertisements on the results page....

Metacrawler often reports "search engines that time out..."

In any case, the moral is to try many different engines...and then 
"anneal" the results, so to speak. Curiously appropriate for the topic 
at hand. (With such a small sample set, of perhaps 10 major search 
engines, SA is obviously not needed.)

--Tim May

-- 
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Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
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