Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Michael L. Nelson

Committee Member

Johan Bollen

Committee Member

Ravi Mukkamula


We present Opal, a framework for interactively locating missing web pages (http status code 404). Opal is an example of "in vivo" preservation: harnessing the collective behavior of web archives, commercial search engines, and research projects for the purpose of preservation. Opal servers learn from their experiences and are able to share their knowledge with other Opal servers using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Using cached copies that can be found on the web, Opal creates lexical signatures which are then used to search for similar versions of the web page. Using the OAI-PMH to facilitate inter-Opal learning extends the utilization of OAI-PMH in a novel manner. We present the architecture of the Opal framework, discuss a reference implementation of the framework, and present a quantitative analysis of the framework that indicates that Opal could be effectively deployed.


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