Supporting metasearch with XSL

Wing Pong Robert Luk, Tharam S. Dillon, Vincent To Yee Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Metasearch engines offer better coverage and are more fault-tolerant and expandable than single search engines. A metasearch engine is required to post queries with and obtain retrieval results from several other Internet search engines. In this paper, we describe the use of the extensible style language (XSL) to support metasearches. We show how XSL can transform a query, expressed in XML, into different forms for different search engines. We show how the retrieval results could be transformed into a standard format so that the metasearch engine can interpret the retrieved data, filtering the irrelevant information (e.g. advertisement). The proposed structure treats the metasearch engine and the individual search engines as separate modules with a clearly defined communication structure through XSL. Thus, the system is more extensible than coding the structure and syntactic transformation processes. It allows other new search engines to be included just through plug-and-play, requiring only that the new transformation of XML for this search engine be included in the XSL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2004


  • Information retrieval
  • Interoperability
  • Metasearch
  • XML
  • XSL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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