MetaQuerier: Exploring and Integrating the Deep Web

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This research aims at enabling effective access to structured information sources on the Internet. Over the past few years, the Web has deepened dramatically- A significant and increasing amount of information is hidden on the "deep" Web, behind the query interfaces of searchable databases. There are numerous such autonomous and heterogeneous sources, each with a different schema and native query constraints. Because current crawlers cannot effectively query databases, such data is invisible to traditional search engines, and thus remains largely hidden from users.

We propose to build a metaquery system, to help users in finding and querying online databases effectively and uniformly. Our efforts aim at opening up the deep Web to users, by building a MetaQuerier; see the architecture below. On this wild frontier of the deep Web, the MetaQuerier will address the challenges of both exploration and integration. Our goal is thus two fold: First, to make the deep Web systematically accessible: the MetaExplorer will discover sources on the deep Web to build a searchable repository, in order to help users find sources useful for their information need. Second, to make the deep Web uniformly usable: the MetaIntegrator will help users interact with online databases to ask queries.


Given the pressing need for effective access to the deep Web, we believe the synergy between the exploration and integration focuses of the two sub-projects will together bring a more complete and timely solution for realizing our MetaQuerier goal.


We gratefully acknowledge our funding sources:



Technical Reports