Web Science

The process of designing things in a very large space


Tim Berners-Lee

MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science

This talk

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

Analyze 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

Linked Data

process of web science

Shapes of data

What shape is the WWW?

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 fractal 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!

Shape conclusion

Web science - challenges

Random selection

Challenge: User Interface

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

Challenge: Information Policy

Challenge: Resilience

Web Science attitude is necessary:

Challenge: Collective quality assessment

Challenge: New devices

See W3C Mobile Web Initiative, W3C Ubiquitous Web Applications

Challenge: Collective Creativity

Web Science: multidisciplinary

Web Science Research Initiative


Thank You


WSRI: webscience.org

Thank you for your attention