Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Michael L. Nelson

Committee Member

Michele C. Weigle

Committee Member

Jian Wu

Committee Member

Sampath Jayarathna

Committee Member

Ross Gore


In a Web plagued by disappearing resources, Web archive collections provide a valuable means of preserving Web resources important to the study of past events. These archived collections start with seed URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) hand-selected by curators. Curators produce high quality seeds by removing non-relevant URIs and adding URIs from credible and authoritative sources, but this ability comes at a cost: it is time consuming to collect these seeds. The result of this is a shortage of curators, a lack of Web archive collections for various important news events, and a need for an automatic system for generating seeds.

We investigate the problem of generating seed URIs automatically, and explore the state of the art in collection building and seed selection. Attempts toward generating seeds automatically have mostly relied on scraping Web or social media Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In this work, we introduce a novel source for generating seeds from URIs in the threaded conversations of social media posts created by single or multiple users. Users on social media sites routinely create and share narratives about news events consisting of hand-selected URIs of news stories, tweets, videos, etc. In this work, we call these posts Micro-collections, whether shared on Reddit or Twitter, and we consider them as an important source for seeds. This is because, the effort taken to create Micro-collections is an indication of editorial activity and a demonstration of domain expertise. Therefore, we propose a model for generating seeds from Micro-collections. We begin by introducing a simple vocabulary, called post class for describing social media posts across different platforms, and extract seeds from the Micro-collections post class. We further propose Quality Proxies for seeds by extending the idea of collection comparison to evaluation, and present our Micro-collection/Quality Proxy (MCQP) framework for bootstrapping Web archive collections from Micro-collections in social media.


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