Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Daniel Berleant


When several information items are presented simultaneously, the potential exists for users to interact with information in a rich and rewarding way. The MultiBrowser system supports such interaction via an information foraging style of hypermedia browsing. Multiple windows, colored bars that provide visual cues, and automatically inserted hyperlinks among the paragraphs in a document set contribute to the structure of repositories created by MultiBrowser. These repositories are browsable over the Web using an ordinary Web browser.;Using these repositories as a platform, we investigate hypertext repositories with automatically generated hyperlinks among paragraphs. The algorithms that generate the links yield results with significant common characteristics despite large differences among the algorithms. Furthermore, different repositories generated from the return lists of different search engines show significant common characteristics. Finally, repositories generated for different domains also have common characteristics. This suggests that these characteristics are pervasive properties of judiciously retrieved document sets. The common characteristics revolve around a tendency for some documents (called the kernel) to be destinations of a disproportionately high fraction of the hyperlinks in the repository. An emergent property of such repositories with practical significance is that browsing activities will have a tendency to trap users within the kernel, perhaps without them realizing it. To enable users to choose to avoid being trapped, we propose a ring structure for hypertext repositories. This structure is exposed to the user by annotations to the hyperlinks.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Jinghao Miao



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

91 pages