Heft 191

Denis Türker:

The Optimal Design of a Search Engine from an Agency Theory Perspective,

Köln, im August 2004, ISBN 3-934156-85-1

62 S., Schutzgebühr 7,00 €

This paper, accepted as thesis by the economic faculty of the University of Cologne, attempts to answer questions about the optimal design of search engines. It provides an overview of technical aspects of search engine architecture and trends in their design (chapters 2 and 3), outlines circumstances that affect the information market and media industries (chapter 4), and explores potential benefits that result from a delegation of labor through insights gained from agency theory (chapter 5). Based on that discussion, four design strategies that determine a search engine’s business model, field of activity, and relationships to stakeholders are examined.


1. Introduction

2. Web Information Retrieval
2.1. Overview of IR-Models
2.2. Web Searching

3. Search Engines
3.1. Challenges
3.2. Search Engine Architecture
3.3. Ranking Techniques
3.4. Trends
3.5. Revenue Sources

4. The Information Market
4.1. The Information Economy
4.2. Transaction Costs
4.3. Economics of Attention
4.4. Mass Media
4.5. Diversity of Opinions

5. Search Engines from an Agency Theory Perspective
5.1. The Basic Concept of Agenca Theory
5.2. The Optimal Delegation of Power
5.3. Power Roles
5.4. Design Patterns
5.5. Design Strategies
5.6. Choice Strategy

6. Conclusions