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Researchers to help Yahoo! users overcome Internet information overload

ASU computer scientists
September 19, 2011

Two Arizona State University computer scientists will work with the leading online media company Yahoo! to make its interactive Internet news and reader-commentary services more user-friendly.

Huan Liu and Xia “Ben” Hu will collaborate with Yahoo! Labs on a web science research project through the company’s Faculty Research and Engagement Program. Liu is a professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decisions Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Hu is pursuing a doctoral degree through the engineering schools’ computer science program.

The project with Yahoo! will also lead to future internship opportunities with the company for ASU computer science and engineering students, Liu says.

Liu and Hu will focus on finding ways to help Yahoo! news readers navigate the system’s large volume of news content and reader commentary in a more organized and coherent fashion. An increasingly large number of Yahoo! readers are posting comments about news articles and sharing them with their online social circles.

That’s creating multiple threads of commentary, making it difficult for readers to follow conversations as reader responses veer further off course from the context of the original news article, Hu explains.

The company wants Liu and Hu to provide readers a solution for making sense of it all in the midst of the flash floods of dialog posted in reaction to news stories.

The Yahoo! web portal is one of the most trafficked Internet destinations, drawing hundreds of millions of users monthly to content that includes news, entertainment and sports information, as well as access to messaging services.