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Re: Think before you write Semantic Web crawlers

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:17:20 +0100
Message-ID: <4E01F970.4050804@openlinksw.com>
To: public-lod@w3.org
On 6/22/11 12:54 PM, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> Hi Chris.
> One way to do the caching really efficiently:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/semantic-web/2007Jun/0012.html
> Which is what rkb has always done.
> But of course caching does not solve the problem of one bad crawler.

Or a SPARQL query gone horribly wrong albeit inadvertently. In short, 
this is the most challenging case of all. We even had to protect against 
the same thing re. SQL access via ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, and OLE-DB. 
Basically, why we still have a business selling drivers when DBMS 
vendors offer free variants.


> It actually makes it worse.
> You add a cache write cost to the query, without a significant probability of a future cache hit. And increase disk usage.

Yes, and WebID adds fidelity to such inevitable challenges.

This is why (IMHO) WebID is the second most important innovation 
following the URI re., Linked Data.


Kingsley
> Hugh
>
> ----- Reply message -----
> From: "Christopher Gutteridge"<cjg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
> To: "Martin Hepp"<martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
> Cc: "Daniel Herzig"<herzig@kit.edu>, "semantic-web@w3.org"<semantic-web@w3.org>, "public-lod@w3.org"<public-lod@w3.org>
> Subject: Think before you write Semantic Web crawlers
> Date: Wed, Jun 22, 2011 9:18 am
>
>
>
> The difference between these two scenarios is that there's almost no CPU involvement in serving the PDF file, but naive RDF sites use lots of cycles to generate the response to a query for an RDF document.
>
> Right now queries to data.southampton.ac.uk (eg. http://data.southampton.ac.uk/products-and-services/CupCake.rdf ) are made live, but this is not efficient. My colleague, Dave Challis, has prepared a SPARQL endpoint which caches results which we can turn on if the load gets too high, which should at least mitigate the problem. Very few datasets change in a 24 hours period.
>
> Martin Hepp wrote:
>
> Hi Daniel,
> Thanks for the link! I will relay this to relevant site-owners.
>
> However, I still challenge Andreas' statement that the site-owners are to blame for publishing large amounts of data on small servers.
>
> One can publish 10,000 PDF documents on a tiny server without being hit by DoS-style crazy crawlers. Why should the same not hold if I publish RDF?
>
> But for sure, it is necessary to advise all publishers of large RDF datasets to protect themselves against hungry crawlers and actual DoS attacks.
>
> Imagine if a large site was brought down by a botnet that is exploiting Semantic Sitemap information for DoS attacks, focussing on the large dump files.
> This could end LOD experiments for that site.
>
>
> Best
>
> Martin
>
>
> On Jun 21, 2011, at 10:24 AM, Daniel Herzig wrote:
>
>
>
> Hi Martin,
>
> Have you tried to put a Squid [1]  as reverse proxy in front of your servers and use delay pools [2] to catch hungry crawlers?
>
> Cheers,
> Daniel
>
> [1] http://www.squid-cache.org/
> [2] http://wiki.squid-cache.org/Features/DelayPools
>
> On 21.06.2011, at 09:49, Martin Hepp wrote:
>
>
>
> Hi all:
>
> For the third time in a few weeks, we had massive complaints from site-owners that Semantic Web crawlers from Universities visited their sites in a way close to a denial-of-service attack, i.e., crawling data with maximum bandwidth in a parallelized approach.
>
> It's clear that a single, stupidly written crawler script, run from a powerful University network, can quickly create terrible traffic load.
>
> Many of the scripts we saw
>
> - ignored robots.txt,
> - ignored clear crawling speed limitations in robots.txt,
> - did not identify themselves properly in the HTTP request header or lacked contact information therein,
> - used no mechanisms at all for limiting the default crawling speed and re-crawling delays.
>
> This irresponsible behavior can be the final reason for site-owners to say farewell to academic/W3C-sponsored semantic technology.
>
> So please, please - advise all of your colleagues and students to NOT write simple crawler scripts for the billion triples challenge or whatsoever without familiarizing themselves with the state of the art in "friendly crawling".
>
> Best wishes
>
> Martin Hepp
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Christopher Gutteridge -- http://id.ecs.soton.ac.uk/person/1248
>
> You should read the ECS Web Team blog: http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/webteam/
>
>
>


-- 

Regards,

Kingsley Idehen	
President&  CEO
OpenLink Software
Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
Twitter/Identi.ca: kidehen
Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 14:17:45 UTC

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