Course Title: Search Engines

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Search Engines

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Dr Sandra Uitdenbogerd

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2246

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You may not enrol in this course unless it is explicitly listed in your enrolment program summary, and you have confirmed with your program coordinator that it is an appropriate choice for your study plan.

Students should have a strong background on the internals of database systems as covered in the course Database Systems.

Course Description

This course covers the study of the major internal components of a search engine, data structures and algorithms used in components, search engine system performance, trade-offs, design decisions, algorithms for large scale text search engines.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Development of student graduate capabilities is an on-going process that takes place in all courses and over the period of
the whole program. This course particularly addresses the following capabilities: knowledge (implementation techniques
for text search engines), and critical analysis (predicting performance of search engines). 

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Implement a text search engine;
  • Apply database techniques to specific search engine problems;
  • Predict the behaviour of text search engines;
  • Choose and implement appropriate compression schemes;
  • Choose algorithms and structures for management and manipulation of large data sets;
  • Make better use of text search engines. 

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will comprise of lectures, tutorials and possibly some laboratory sessions to familiarise students with appropriate tools. Each week there will be 2 hours of lectures and, from the second week of semester, 1 hour of combined tutorial work and laboratory.

Students will also be expected to undertake additional laboratory work in their own time. Students are encouraged to participate during tutorial sessions through asking questions, commenting on the lecture material based on their own experiences, and through presenting solutions to written exercises.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will make extensive use of computer laboratories and relevant software provided by the School. You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT) and may be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Use the RMIT Bookshop’s textbook list search page to find any recommended textbook(s).

Overview of Assessment

Students will complete two assignments that closely mirror requirements of real-world text search engines.

For standard assessment details, including hurdle requirements, relating to Computer Science and IT courses see: