In this paper we review studies of the growth of the Internet and technologies that are useful for information search and retrieval on the Web. We present data on the Internet from several different sources, e.g., current as well as projected number of users, hosts, and Web sites. Although numerical figures vary, overall trends cited by the sources are consistent and point to exponential growth in the past and in the coming decade. Hence it is not surprising that about 85 % of Internet users surveyed claim using search engines and search services to find specific information. The same surveys show, however, that users are not satisfied with the performance of the current generation of search engines; the slow retrieval speed, communication delays, and poor quality of retrieved results (e.g., noise and broken links) are commonly cited problems. We discuss the development of new techniques targeted to resolve some of the problems associated with Web-based information retrieval,and speculate on future trends. Categories and Subject Descriptors: G.1.3 [Numerical Analysis]: Numerical Linear Algebra—Eigenvalues and eigenvectors (direct and iterative methods); Singular value decomposition; Sparse, structured and very large systems (direct an
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