Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Michele C. Weigle

Committee Member

Michael L. Nelson

Committee Member

Jian Wu

Committee Member

Sampath Jayarathna

Committee Member

Christian Zemlin


Web archives are a window to view past versions of webpages. When a user requests a webpage on the live Web, such as ravel/, the webpage may not be found, which results in an HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 404 response. The user then may search for the webpage in a Web archive, such as the Internet Archive. Unfortunately, if this page had never been archived, the user will not be able to view the page, nor will the user gain any information on other webpages that have similar content in the archive, such as the archived webpage Similarly, if the user requests the webpage from the Internet Archive, the user will only find the requested webpage, and the user will not gain any information on other webpages that have similar content in the archive, such as the archived webpage In this research, we will build a model for selecting and ranking possible recommended webpages at a Web archive. This is to enhance both HTTP 404 responses and HTTP 200 responses by surfacing webpages in the archive that the user may not know existed. First, we detect semantics in the requested Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). Next, we classify the URI using an ontology, such as DMOZ or any website directory. Finally, we filter and rank candidates based on several features, such as archival quality, webpage popularity, temporal similarity, and content similarity. We measure the performance of each step using different techniques, including calculating the F1 to measure of different tokenization methods and the classification. We tested the model using human evaluation to determine if we could classify and find recommendations for a sample of requests from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine access log. Overall, when selecting the full categorization, reviewers agreed with 80.3% of the recommendations, which is much higher than “do not agree” and “I do not know”. This indicates the reviewer is more likely to agree on the recommendations when selecting the full categorization. But when selecting the first level only, reviewers only agreed with 25.5% of the recommendations. This indicates that having deep level categorization improves the performance of finding relevant recommendations.


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