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Web Science: Motivation, Goals and Contributions
 

Web Science: Motivation, Goals and Contributions

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Most areas of today's society are dependent on the web in some way. ...

Most areas of today's society are dependent on the web in some way.
This raises the issue of the web as an object of scientific study on its own.
The presentation will introduce the emerging scientific discipline of Web Science,
as a way to study the web as a whole, on a systems level and in an inter-disciplinary way.
The presentation will cover the motivation for Web Science,
discuss the different goals and definitions of Web Science,
and present some current contributions of Web Science.

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    Web Science: Motivation, Goals and Contributions Web Science: Motivation, Goals and Contributions Presentation Transcript

    • Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie Web Science: Motivation, Goals and Contributions Benjamin Heitmann  Copyright 2009 Digital Enterprise Research Institute. All rights reserved. Chapter
    • Introduction Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Society today is dependent on the Web  Affects areas besides computer science:  politics  law and economics media and the arts   very different situation 10/15 years ago  Web Science asks: Should we be studying the Web by itself? Benjamin Heitmann slide 2 of 18
    • Outline Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Motivation: Why Web Science?  Goals and definitions: Definitions of Web Science and intended goals  Contributions: tangible results from Web Science Benjamin Heitmann slide 3 of 18
    • Why is Web Science necessary? Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  The Web affects most areas of today’s society  Society is dependent on the Web  The Web is the substrate for our society  Computer Science is no longer enough to understand the Web  Many disciplines need to contribute to this © Flickr user “denn” understanding Benjamin Heitmann slide 4 of 18
    • Society on the Web: Media Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie “A number of proposals have been put forward which would avoid this in whole or in part and which would, we argue, be at least as effective as Nama in laying the ground for such a banking system. These models have been well discussed through a variety of blogs on the web and in the mainstream media.” Benjamin Heitmann slide 5 of 18
    • Society on the Web (2) Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Dot-Com Bubble: Bust effects whole economy in 2000/2001  Digital Rights Management: Amazon deletes book under customers nose  Privacy: facebook apps (e.g. quizzes) steal and sell users data  Freedom of speech: Web 2.0 sites used to enable and spy on Iranian opposition Benjamin Heitmann slide 6 of 18
    • Society on the Web (3) Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie Politics: Obama campaign was won with small donations (less then 100 dollars) given through Web site Humanities and Arts: © Shepard Fairey (obeygiant.com) The rise of network culture: “the network has become the dominant cultural logic” “Networked Publics”, Kazys Varnelis (Editor), 2008 © http://networkedbook.org Benjamin Heitmann slide 7 of 18
    • Defining Web Science Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie Different views of Web Science and its goals: 1. Systems-level view of the web 2. Study of interplay between engineering and social factors 3. Measuring the web 4. Predicting the future web 5. Outline for educating the next generation 6. Encourage collaboration 7. Establishing a new scientific method Benjamin Heitmann slide 8 of 18
    • Systems-level view of the Web Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Goal: Holistic view of the web  No partitioning  No delegation of research on one area to only one discipline  Problems usually can not be solved by just one discipline © Web Science Research Initiative Benjamin Heitmann slide 9 of 18
    • Web Science Process Model Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie Goal: Study interplay between © Lawrence Lessig engineering and social factors. Increase in complexity: result is transition from micro to macro effects Examples: first 8 years of the Web Wikipedia Myspace, Twitter and Facebook Source: “Web science: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the web”, Hendler, Shadboldt, Hall, Berners-Lee, Weitzner, Communications of the ACM (2008) Benjamin Heitmann slide 10 of 18
    • Measuring the Web Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Goal: gather empirical data and statistics about the Web or parts of it  Goal: create models for different properties of the Web Source: “Graph structure in the  In and Out-degree distribution Web”, Broder, Kumar et al.  Characterising connectivity of pages on the web  Power laws for incoming links, © Clay Shirky e.g. to blogs  Growth: 7 million pages a day (2005) Benjamin Heitmann slide 11 of 18
    • Predicting the future Web Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Goal: predict why technologies are successful on the Web  Combine quantitative and © University of Southamptin qualitative statements for predictions  Next big thing after twitter: Augmented reality?  Will Linked Data take off?  Could the Web exist without TBL inventing it? © Wired magazine Benjamin Heitmann slide 12 of 18
    • Web Science as Education Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie Goal: Develop a curriculum for teaching a combination of disciplines. Next generation of researchers will have a unified perspective. Other disciplines which started as interdisciplinary approaches: computer science life sciences Benjamin Heitmann slide 13 of 18
    • Encouraging collaboration Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Goal: provide venues and incentives for researchers from different disciplines to collaborate.  It is hard to get funding for interdisciplinary research  Approaches combining more then two disciplines are rare  Current venues:  annual Web Science conference  workshops, e.g. at WWW2008  WSRI Journal © Web Science Research Initiative, both pictures Benjamin Heitmann slide 14 of 18
    • Establishing a new scientific method Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Goal:develop a new language and methodology for making statements about the Web on a systems level  language: scientists from the different disciplines must be able to communicate with each other  methodology: focus on empirical basis take quantitative and qualitative findings into account allow normative and extrapolating Source: Futures studies article on Wikipedia methods Benjamin Heitmann slide 15 of 18
    • Contributions of Web Science (1) Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Quantitative measurements of the Web: e.g. “Graph structure in the Web”, Broder, Kumar et al.  Social Networking Patterns: Social Drivers for creating and sustaining communities “Theories of communication networks”, Monge, Contractor Source: Noshir Contractor, slides at http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/sna-workshop/documents/20076NoshMaryland.pdf Benjamin Heitmann slide 16 of 18
    • Contributions of Web Science (2) Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Qualitative case studies (just a selection) Philosophy: “The Devil’s Long Tail: Religious Moderation and Extremism on the Web”, O'Hara, Stevens (2009) applying the Long Tail theory to religious markets on the Web Anthropology: "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace", Boyd (2007) Initial user population shapes character of social networks, not just technical features  Web Science Process Model: “Introducing new features to Wikipedia - Case studies for Web science”, Schindler, Vrandecic (2009) How the Wikipedia community influences the features of the Wikipedia software and vice versa Governance: “Designing effective regulation for the Dark side of the Web”, Richter, Brown (2009) Overview of government regulation, proposal of using NGOs for more effective regulation Benjamin Heitmann slide 17 of 18
    • Addendum Digital Enterprise Research Institute www.deri.ie  Acknowledgements: My visit to the WebScience Summer school was funded by: Unit for Information Mining and Retrieval (UIMR) Data Intensive Infrastructures Unit (UDI2)  Show of hands for collaboration  Other questions?  Starting points for literature: “Web science: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the web”, Hendler, Shadboldt, Hall, Berners-Lee, Weitzner, Communications of the ACM (2008)  Web Science conference proceedings (websci09.org)  http://webscience.org/publications/ Benjamin Heitmann slide 18 of 18