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Dr Michael P Evans PhD

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A Model for Managing Information Flow on the World Wide Web

This thesis considers the nature of information management on the World Wide Web. The web has evolved into a global information system that is completely unregulated, permitting anyone to publish whatever information they wish. However, this information is almost entirely unmanaged, which, together with the enormous number of users who access it, places enormous strain on the web?s architecture. This has led to the exposure of inherent flaws, which reduce its effectiveness as an information system.

The thesis presents a thorough analysis of the state of this architecture, and identifies three flaws that could render the web unusable: link rot; a shrinking namespace; and the inevitable increase of noise in the system. A critical examination of existing solutions to these flaws is provided, together with a discussion on why the solutions have not been deployed or adopted. The thesis determines that they have failed to take into account the nature of the information flow between information provider and consumer. The overall aim of the research has therefore been to design a new solution to the web?s inherent flaws, based on a greater understanding of the nature of the information that flows upon it.

The realization of this objective has included the development of a new theory of information flow that is set in a cultural context, as it is recognized that the nature of information flow on the web is driven by the people who use it and provide its information. Once defined, the theory is used in the development of a new model for managing information flow on the web, which is used to develop a solution to the web?s flaws. The solution comprises three new additions to the web?s architecture: a temporal referencing scheme; an Oracle Server Network for more effective web browsing; and a Resource Locator Service, which provides automatic transparent resource migration. The thesis describes their design and operation, and presents the concept of the Request Router, which provides a new way of integrating such distributed systems into the web?s existing architecture without breaking it. The design of the Resource Locator Service, including the development of new protocols for resource migration, is covered in great detail, and a prototype system that has been developed to prove the effectiveness of the design is presented. The design is further validated by comprehensive performance measurements of the prototype, which show that it will scale to manage a web whose size is orders of magnitude greater than it is today.

Dr Michael P Evans

Director of studies: Dr Steven M. Furnell
Other supervisors: Prof. Paul L. Reynolds, Prof Peter Sanders

Journal papers

A Model for Monitoring and Migrating Web Resources
Evans MP, Furnell SM
Campus Wide Information Systems, vol. 2, no. 2, pp67-74, 2003
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The Resource Locator Service: Fixing a Flaw in the Web
Evans MP, Furnell SM
Computer Networks, vol. 37, no 3-4, November, 2001
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The promise of Online Distance Learning: Addressing academic and institutional concerns
Furnell SM, Evans MP, Bailey P
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, vol. 1, no. 4, pp281-291, 2001
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Internet-based security incidents and the potential for false alarms
Evans MP, Furnell SM
Internet Research, vol. 10, no. 3, pp238-245, 2000
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Online Distance Learning: Expectations, Requirements and Barriers
Furnell SM, Evans MP, Phippen AD, Abu-Rgheff MA
Virtual University Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, 1999
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Strategies for Content Migration on the World Wide Web
Evans MP, Phippen AD, Müller G, Furnell SM, Sanders P, Reynolds PL
Internet Research, vol.9, no.1, pp25-34, 1999
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Network Resource Adaptation in the DOLMEN Service Machine
Evans MP, Kettunen KT, Blackwell GK, Furnell SM, Phippen AD, Hope S, Reynolds PL
Intelligence in Services and Networks: Technology for Cooperative Competition, Mullery et al. (eds.), Springer, 1997
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7 Journal papers

Conference papers

WebRUM: A Model for Measuring Web-Wide Resource Usage
Evans MP, Furnell SM
Proceedings of the Third International Network Conference (INC 2002), Plymouth, UK, 16-18 July 2002, pp11-21, 2002
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A Web-Based Resource Migration Protocol Using WebDAV
Evans MP, Furnell SM
Proceedings of WWW 2002 - The Eleventh InternationalWorld Wide Web Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 7-11 May, pp263-271, 2002
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Developing tools to support online distance learning
Furnell SM, Evans MP, Haskell-Dowland PS (Dowland PS)
Proceedings of EUROMEDIA 2000, Antwerp, Belgium, 8-10 May, 2000
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A Hyper Graphics Markup Language for optimising WWW access in wireless networks
Reynolds PL, Furnell SM, Evans MP, Phippen AD
Proceedings of Euromedia 99, Munich, Germany, pp136-144, 25-28 April, 1999
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Content Migration on the World Wide Web
Evans MP, Phippen AD, Müller G, Furnell SM, Sanders P, Reynolds PL
Proceedings of the first International Network Conference 1998 (INC 98), Plymouth, UK, pp156-161, 6-9 July, 1998
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Mobility Considerations for integrated Telecommunications Service Environments
Evans MP, Furnell SM, Phippen AD, Reynolds PL
Proceedings of IEE Sixth International Conference on Telecommunications, Edinburgh, UK, 29 March-1 April, 1998
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Using CORBA to Support Terminal Mobility
Liljeberg M, Evans MP, Furnell SM, Maumon N, Raatikainen K, Veldkamp E, Wind BCF, Trigila S
Proceedings of TINA 97 Conference, Santiago, Chile, 17-21 November, 1997
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Resource Adaptation in the TINA Service Environment
Evans MP, Phippen AD, Furnell SM, Reynolds PL
Proceedings of Fourth Communications Networks Symposium, Manchester, UK, 7-8 July, 1997
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8 Conference papers

Contributions to edited books

A Model for Managing and Migrating Web Resources
Evans MP, Furnell SM
in Best Technology Practices in Higher Education. L.Lloyd (Ed), Information Today Inc., New Jersey: pp177-192, 2005
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The ISHTAR World Wide Web Dissemination and Advisory Service for Healthcare Information Security
Furnell SM, Warren MJ, Evans MP
in Implementing Secure Healthcare Telematics Applications in Europe. The ISHTAR Consortium (Eds), Technology and Informatics 66, IOS Press: pp249-280, 2001
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2 Contributions to edited books

17 publication(s) - all categories.