Web Characterization Activity

News | FAQ | WCA| People | Issue Tracker | Documents | Milestones | Background

HISTORIC: This page is not kept up to date. W3C currently does not have an Activity on Web Characterization. The page is made available to preserve information on the results of the Web Characterization Activity.

This is the homepage of the W3C Web Characterization Activity, part of the W3C Architecture domain. The purpose of the Web Characterization Activity is to characterize the Web, develop real world test scenarios, and to provide information for the Web community how the Web is currently being used and anticipated use in the near future.


Nearby you can find the HTTP-NG Activity where the Phase I of this Activity was carried out.

News, Updates, and Events

Frequently Asked Questions

Part of the function of the WCA is to help other W3C working groups answer specific questions about the Web and Web technologies. Below are some of the answers we have provided in the past. The group is in the process of actively receiving solicitations for other W3C groups during the April 1999. We'll be posting these results over the summer 1999. Stay tuned.

January 1998 Answers to the HTTP-NG Protocol Design Group

Mailing List

Discussion of the Web Characterization Activity takes place on the www-wca@w3.org mailing list (Archives). You MUST be subscribed in order to post to this mailing list! Follow these shortcuts to quick subscribe or quick unsubscribe or see the information on mailing lists for more details.

The WCA Request Tracking Forum

The model behind WCA is to provide a link between people with lots of log files and people who are interested in finding out what the Web looks like. In order to track and maintain a user friendly and efficient interface to the various questions and requests for information about the Web, we have built a tool which we call ETA to help us.

The WCA forum is the place where you should ask your questions regarding the Web - email notification will automatically be sent to the <www-wca@w3.org. That is, if you are subscribed (which you should be anyway) then you will get mail there when things happen. Of course, these mails can start discussions that can trigger other questions and so on.

In order for you to participate, you MUST sign in to the system. This is so that we can see who has created the requests and what their email address is. Of course, the privacy policy is exactly the same for our mailing lists - we don't hand out any contact information whatsoever.

Drafts, Documents, Papers and Reports

Working Drafts and Notes

Latest Revision
June 28, 1999 Work in Progress Repository Validation Process Balachander Krishnamurthy
Marc Abrams,
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
May 24, 1999 Draft Web Characterization Terminology & Definitions Sheet Brian Lavoie
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen
May 4, 1999 Work In Progress Web Characterization Metrics Brian Lavoie
March 19, 1999 W3C Note Web Characterization: from working group to activity Jim Pitkow
Johan Hjelm
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen

Papers, Reports, Concepts

January 27, 1999 Paper The WCA Repository White Paper Marc Abrams
Ed Fox
December 18, 1998 Concept Metrics of Web Characterizations Jim Pitkow
December 16, 1998 Results HTTP Request and Response Characterization Anja Feldmann
December 14, 1998 Paper Key Differences between HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 Balachander Krishnamurthy
Jeffrey C. Mogul
David M. Kristol
December 11, 1998 Results Persistent Connection Behavior of Popular Browsers Pei Cao
December 6, 1998 Concept Response to Thought Paper on Automatic Recharacterization Volker Turau
December 2, 1998 Concept Thought Paper on Automatic Recharacterization Johan Hjelm


The Web Characterization Working Group is responsible for the production of reports and for meeting these milestones. All results of the Working Group are published online and discussed on the WCA mailing list.

Summer 1999 Milestones

Target Date
WCA Lead
Major Issues
Request Tracker
(Web Site)
Operational July 1- Done Henrik/W3C systems team None - interface details
Launch of Repository
(Web Site)
(major issues)
November 10
Virginia Tech None
Get Logs into Repository
(Web Site)
Being processed November 10
Martin - World Cup
Joe - Boeing
Auto Characterization Extraction
Tool on w3c.dev server July 30 - Done Jim/Open Source? Integration into the repository certification process. Find other developers
Awaiting clearence November 30 Joe/Open Source? Need clearance from Kroger
Characterization Issues
(IETF Presentation)
Preparing slides November 8, Wash. DC Jim, Anja, Bala None
Out for public comment December 1
Final Version
Brian/OCLC None
Started December 1
Final Version
Brian/OCLC None

WCA 1998-1999 Milestones

November 5, 1998 W3C Workshop (member and non-member) on Web characterizations, test bed simulators, and automatic characterization methodologies Abstract reviewed Workshop Done
November 15, 1998 Identification and inclusion of new members into the Working Group Milestone Done
November 15, 1998 Workshop minutes W3C Note Done
December 15, 1998 Solicitation to other W3C Working Groups Memo to other W3C Working Groups Done
December 15, 1998 Initial repository containing data sets, tools, and bibliography of Web characterization research Initial online repository available Done
January 5, 1998 Initial proposal for automatic Web characterization W3C Note In Progress
February 15, 1999 Alpha release of repository to WCA members Online system Done
April 1, 1999 Creation of issue/question tracking system Online system Done
April 15, 1999 Solicitation to other W3C Working Groups Memo to other W3C Working Groups Done
May 15, 1999 Closing date for contracting with other W3C Working Groups Milestone Done
November 10, 1999 Completed repository containing data sets, tools, and bibliography of Web characterization research Online repository available to the public On scheudule
October 25, 1999 Fulfillment of contracts with other W3C Working Groups W3C Note Done
December 5, 1999 Twelve month status report Report to the Membership In progress

Working Group Participants

The following people are part of the WCA Working Group and are committed to meeting the WCA milestones.
Participation Dates
Marc Abrams Virginia Tech October 30, 1998 - present
Martin F. Arlitt HP Labs October 30, 1998 - present
Paul Barford Boston University October 30, 1998 - present
Pei Cao University of Wisconsin October 30, 1998 - December, 31, 1998
Anja Feldmann AT&T Research Labs October 30, 1998 - present
Edward A. Fox Virginia Tech October 30, 1998 - present
Johan Hjelm W3C/Ericsson October 30, 1998 - present Interest Group Chair
Balachander Krishnamurthy AT&T Research Labs October 30, 1998 - present
Joe Meadows Boeing October 30, 1998 - present
Henrik Frystyk Nielsen W3C October 30, 1998 - present W3C Staff Contact
Ed O'Neill OCLC October 30, 1998 - present
Jim Pitkow Xerox PARC October 30, 1998 - present Working Group Chair

Related Information

Jim Pitkow, Xerox PARC, WG Chair
Johan Hjelm, W3C/Ericsson, IG Chair and Staff Contact
@(#) $Id: Overview.html,v 1.61 2000/07/05 16:00:24 hoschka Exp $

Copyright 1998, 1999 W3C (MIT,INRIA,Keio), All Rights Reserved. W3Cliability, trademark, document use and software licensing rules apply. Your interactions with this site are in accordance with our public and Member privacy statements.