Ranking XPaths for extracting search result records
by Dolf Trieschnigg, Kien Tjin-Kam-Jet and Djoerd Hiemstra
Extracting search result records (SRRs) from webpages is useful for building an aggregated search engine which combines search results from a variety of search engines. Most automatic approaches to search result extraction are not portable: the complete process has to be rerun on a new search result page. In this paper we describe an algorithm to automatically determine XPath expressions to extract SRRs from webpages. Based on a single search result page, an XPath expression is determined which can be reused to extract SRRs from pages based on the same template. The algorithm is evaluated on six datasets, including two new datasets containing a variety of web, image, video, shopping and news search results. The evaluation shows that for 85% of the tested search result pages, a useful XPath is determined. The algorithm is implemented as a browser plugin and as a standalone application which are available as open source software.
Download Search Result Finder Firefox plugin.