New software to repair broken links plaguing the internet

There’s this interesting new software which is hailed to be capable of fixing broken links on the internet. All right, so in plain English, you know those 404 errors you sometimes encounter when clicking on an interesting link or trying to access an important bit of information on a website? They’re the work of the devil.

Just kidding. It happens when you click on a link or URL and your (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or any other) browser tells the server that you wish to visit the page in question. Here, think of the server as a living book holding a lot of chapters. Each chapter is a website with a number of pages. Simple?

Gmail 404 Error

A 404 error shows up when you request a page by the wrong name. Meaning one or more letters or special characters could be missing from the URL. But it’s a different error altogether when the name of the website itself is spelled wrong and your browser generally says ‘Server not found’ or something along those lines in this case. You can also be faced with the dreaded 404 if the page you’re looking for has been deleted or moved.

What does the new software do?

Introduced by Mohammad Pourzaferani and Mohammad Ali Nematbakhsh from the Department of Computer Engineering, University of Isfahan, the software does not attempt to fix a broken link at the destination point. Instead, the algorithm depends on the source point of that link and detects the new address of the entity (web page) that is detached or misplaced. A ‘superior’ and an ‘inferior’ dataset are built with this purpose in mind.

Page Not Found Error

A graph is then modeled for each entity. When a page is moved, the structured information is later used to find its new address. The software also suggests the most similar entity to the detached one. As a test run for the study, it was employed with the website DBpedia with satisfactory results.