A General Framework for Web Content Filtering


Web content filtering is a means to make end-users aware of the `quality' of Web resources by evaluating their contents and/or characteristics against users' preferences. Although they can be used for a variety of purposes, Web content filtering tools are mainly deployed as a service for parental control purposes, and for regulating the access to Web content by users connected to the networks of enterprises, libraries, schools, etc. Current Web filtering tools are based on well established techniques, such as data mining and firewall blocking, and they typically cater to the filtering requirements of very specific end-user categories. Therefore, what is lacking is a unified filtering framework able to support all the possible application domains, and making it possible to enforce interoperability among the different filtering approaches and the systems based on them. In this paper, a multi-strategy approach is described, which integrates the available techniques and focuses on the use of metadata for rating and filtering Web information. Such an approach consists of a filtering meta-model, referred to as MFM (Multi-strategy Filtering Model), which provides a general representation of the Web content filtering domain, independently from its possible applications, and of two prototype implementations, partially carried out in the framework of the EU projects EUFORBIA and QUATRO, and designed for different application domains: user protection and Web quality assurance, respectively.


filtering, data mining, multi-strategy, metadata, MFM, quality assurance

Date of this Version



World Wide Web Volume 13 Issue 3, September 2010