Using the DOM Tree for Content Extraction

Sergio López
(Universitat Politècnica de València)
Josep Silva
(Universitat Politècnica de València)
David Insa
(Universitat Politècnica de València)

The main information of a webpage is usually mixed between menus, advertisements, panels, and other not necessarily related information; and it is often difficult to automatically isolate this information. This is precisely the objective of content extraction, a research area of widely interest due to its many applications. Content extraction is useful not only for the final human user, but it is also frequently used as a preprocessing stage of different systems that need to extract the main content in a web document to avoid the treatment and processing of other useless information. Other interesting application where content extraction is particularly used is displaying webpages in small screens such as mobile phones or PDAs. In this work we present a new technique for content extraction that uses the DOM tree of the webpage to analyze the hierarchical relations of the elements in the webpage. Thanks to this information, the technique achieves a considerable recall and precision. Using the DOM structure for content extraction gives us the benefits of other approaches based on the syntax of the webpage (such as characters, words and tags), but it also gives us a very precise information regarding the related components in a block, thus, producing very cohesive blocks.

In Josep Silva and Francesco Tiezzi: Proceedings 8th International Workshop on Automated Specification and Verification of Web Systems (WWV 2012), Stockholm, Sweden, 16th July 2012, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 98, pp. 46–59.
Published: 22nd October 2012.

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