RPI - Web Science ruminations


Tim Berners-Lee

MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)
Southampton University School of Electroncis and Computer Science
Web Science Research Initiative


This talk


now difficult to explain what it was like!

CERN: The European Particle Physics Laboratory

CERN from the air

CERN: Atlas Detector

The ATLAS detector - a big project

Pre-web at CERN

Need to bridge

1980: Enquire

Enquire V 1.1

Opening file (PSK-PCP)VAC-V1:ENQR...

PSB Vacuum Control System                    (concept)  <   O>
--- ------ ------- ------

 [ 1] described-by: Enquiry System
      An experimental system for which this is a test.

 [ 2] includes: Vacuum History System
      Records and displays slow changes in pressure.

 [ 3] includes: Vacuum equipment modules
      Perform all the hardware interface

 [ 4] includes: Control and status applications programs
      Provide operator interaction from the consoles.

 [ 5] described-by: Controle du System a Vide du Booster 11-2-80
      Operational specification of the software

 [ 6] includes: PSB Pump Surveillance System         PCP 228
      Allows rapid monitoring of pressure changes

[number      ]


1989: Web memo

Circles and arrows again...

Circles and arrows diagram

1990: WWW design

1990: Original WWW architecture

The original architecture diagram

Universality of the Web

independence of:

Web essential: Layering

1991-4: Paradigm shift

Increase of 10x every year

1994: World Wide Web Consortium

good + fair + fast

Leading the web to its full potential

Care and use of the WWW

Spirit of Web design

has been the best part

2006: Web Science Research Initiuative

Historical Roadmap Web Science


Layers: Link

link level

Layers: Net hides links

net level

Layers: Web hides computers

web level

Layers: Web hides computers

web level

Layers: Semantic Web

sem web level

Layers: Semantic Web

sem web level

Layers: Semantic Web

graph level

Layers: Semantic Web

graph2 level

Web Science

The process of designing things in a very large space

Philosophical Engineering

Designing a system...

process of web science

involves social conventions too.

process of web science

Microscopic system

process of web science

Macroscopic effect

process of web science

Analyse the result

process of web science

Is this what we want?

process of web science

The process of web science

process of web science

Science and engineering

process of web science


process of web science magic = stuff you don't understand

More magic

magic = stuff you don't understand yet process of web science

Second guessing

Second guessing

For example...

process of web science


process of web science

WWW - as envisaged

process of web science: WWW


process of web science: WWW

Building on WWW: Google

process of web science


process of web science: wikipedia


process of web science: wikipedia

Semantic Web

process of web science (Oxford talk)


Challenge: New devices

Designing for the future (current!) power of hardware

Challenge: Collective quality asessment

Challenge: Information Policy

Challenge: Collective Creativity


Thank you

The shape of the web

Society includes communities on many scales

Universal WWW must include communities on many scales

Applications connected by concepts

Its like a metro, the way the lines of common concepts
connect the stations of different applications

For example in biopax

Venn diagram showing ontologies overlapping by certain common terms

[Diagram: Joanne Luciano, Predictive Medicine Drug discovery demo using RDF, Siderian Seamark and Oracle 10g]

The Scale-free tangle

Total Cost of Ontologies (TCO)

Assume :-) ontologies evenly spread across orders of magnitude; committee size as log(community), time as committee^2, cost shared across community.
Scale Eg Committee size Cost per ontology (weeks) My share of cost
0 Me 1 1 1
10 My team 4 16 1.6
100 Group 7 49 0.49
1000 10 100 0.10
10k Enterprise 13 169 0.017
100k Business area 16 256 0.0026
1M 19 361 0.00036
10M 22 484 0.000048
100M National, State 25 625 0.000006
1G EU, US 28 784 0.000001
10G Planet 31 961 0.000000

Total cost of 10 ontologies: 3.2 weeks. Serious project: 30 ontologies, TCO = 10 weeks.
Lesson: Do your bit. Others will do theirs.
Thank those who do working groups!

Web science - challenges

process of web science

Web Science Challenges

Challenge: User Interface

Domain-specific user interfaces are blossoming... but what about generic ones?

Challenge: Resilience

Web Science attitude is necessary:

Web Science: multidisciplinary

Web Science Research Initiative


Thank You


WSRI: webscience.org

Thank you for your attention