Appreciating the subtleties of PageRank, HITS, and other ranking schemes requires knowledge of some mathematical concepts. In particular, it’s necessary to understand some aspects of linear algebra, discrete Markov chains, and graph theory. Rather than presenting a comprehensive survey of these areas, our purpose here is to touch on only the most relevant topics that arise in the mathematical analysis of Web search concepts. Technical proofs are generally omitted.

The common ground is linear algebra, so this is where we start. The reader that wants more detail or simply wants to review elementary linear algebra ...

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