Value Function for ordering web pages based on content

MSc module project. Written in Java in the year 2000 :-)

The core program is called PagePref. The GUI is provided using a wrapper program called PagePrefGUI. It is written in Java.

This program allows a user to order several .html files according to their content preferences (e.g. pages with most images first). The program provides a number of filters in the form of value function attributes. The pages are ranked according to the value (or preference) you assign to the attributes. The files can be local or online.

  • Multi-Attribute Value Function For Ordering Web Pages (PDF) - A more detailed report that describes the value function maths behind the program and the program's structure. Apologies for its quality, it was written a while ago at uni, probably in a rush ;-) Still, the maths is sound.

Code and instructions

Extract the .java files and compile with javac *.java. Run the program with java PagePrefGUI. To use:

  1. Either add a page by entering its location in the text box and pressing "add", or click "load" and select a plain text file in which a list of page locations is stored (new-line seperated, for example testpages.txt).
  2. Choose your preferences by selecting page attributes, whether you want them or not, and how much it means to you. For example, the screenshot shows it being used by someone who doesn't care at all about the presence of images or links in the pages, who really wants a government site with few sound downloads, lots of text, and wouldn't mind some frames and tables to boot!
  3. Click "parse" to parse the pages for their content.
  4. Click "order" to order the pages according to your preferences.

Useful enhancements

There are a few extensions that would make this program more useful, and they shouldn't be too hard to write.

  • Load the pages by reading the results of a search engine rather than a text file.
  • Directly link to a browser to open selected pages.
  • Provide more choices for the extension attribute filter and allow the user to choose their own.


  • Update 08/12/2011: Converted doc into PDF.

Last modified: 30/04/2006 (most likely earlier as a site migration in 2006 reset some dates) Tags: (none)

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