Trip Report Yorgos Amanatidis This is a trip report for the Web Science Conference 2009 (WebSci’09) that took place from the 18th to the 20th of March 2009, in Athens, Greece. Location: The Conference was held at the “Hellenic Cosmos” complex of the Foundation of the Hellenic World. Hellenic Cosmos was indeed very suitable for such an event.
The place was technologically equipped, the location was easily accessible for me, both by public transportation and by car, with adequate parking space.
Although I stayed in Piraeus, I can assume that the transportation to/from the Conference was equally easy for all the participants. Organization: Concerning the organization and the advertisement of WebSci’09, I have to say that everything was well planed and the conference was quite publicized. However, and this was not an objection of me alone, most of the publicity was due to the unusually large number of members of the Greek Parliament that talked during the Conference.
Workshops, Talks, Posters: I attended the Web Science Curriculum Workshop and just the first hour of the UIWoSC Workshop due to my jet lag. I understand that the two workshops were planned to have only a few participants, however they were very interesting and illustrative of the struggle to determine the boundaries of an emerging scientific area. To say my opinion, I cannot see web science independent of computer science, and I think the most plausible direction is the one of information science, as it is called in the U. S.
I attended several talks and enjoyed most of them, although the topics of some sessions diverged too much from my idea of what web science should/will be, e. g. the “Cultural Convergence and Digital Technology” session. I had the chance to talk to a few people about my research and get some interesting ideas on more applied directions; I was a bit disappointed though, that two of the three other speakers in my session did not show up. Finally, a few thoughts about the Poster Session. I found many of the posters really interesting and I had the chance to talk to some of the authors.
It seems to me, that it would be a good idea if the poster session was a bit more “central” in the program, since at the and of the first day most people were already exhausted. Also, it would be nice to have some information about the posters on the web page of the conference. Overall, I would say that attending WebSci’09, was a useful and interesting experience, and I will try to attend WebSci conferences again in the future. WebSci’09 Report – Norhidayah Azman When I received the e-mail saying that I was one of the lucky recipients of the WebSci’09 bursary award, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Firstly, it dawned on me that I was going to attend the first ever conference to be run by WSRI. Then secondly, I was going to go to Athens! The conference ran from 18-20 March 2009 in the beautiful Hellenic Cosmos of the Foundation of the Hellenic World. The moment me and my friends set eyes on the venue, we were truly excited. I fully agree with Dame Wendy when she said in her welcoming address that the futuristic dome was reason enough to come there for the conference. The city centre also provided more than enough distractions for us delegates before and after the conference.
Being a first-year PhD student, I was thrilled to be given to the opportunity to mingle amongst these brilliant minds congregating in support of a common goal: to witness the future of the Web. I also had the pleasure of talking to Bebo White, a prominent personality in the world of Web research. He said it was such a good reception for a conference where nobody knows what it’s about! Lots of prominent speakers graced the event, delivering interesting keynote speeches that provided a good overview of the breadth and depth of Web Science.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, with his affable conduct, showcased his revolutionary thinking during the opening WWW Forum. He said that 80% of the world’s population does not have access to the Internet, thus future technological developments must be inclusive of this huge populace. To help reach out to more people, he suggested building a water-based wireless router! It’s quite interesting to see the different ways of how different keynote speakers envisage the evolution of the Web.
Joseph Sifakis likens its maturity today as similar to physics during the Middle Ages, while Nigel Shadbolt symbolized the Web’s issues as an elephant in the room. He also asked: how do you evaluate the economic value of collective content? Nosh Contractor gave an excellent speech, clearly outlining the ways to identify different generative mechanisms that explain emergent structures observed in large-scale networks. He emphasized that technology does not spell the death of distance, because from his experimental results using EverQuest, individuals within a 50km radius is 22. times more likely to be friends online than compared to a 50-80km radius. The papers and panels presented were eye-opening as well. This is where the breadth of Web Science seemed very apparent. On the same track, you could find a Computer Science paper followed by a Law paper which was then followed by a Sociology paper. The different approaches and angles towards addressing Web issues do spur a lot of discussion during the Q sessions, which I find very refreshing. I attended the following tracks: Trust and Distrust, Openness vs. Control, Social Networks, and Government, Citizens, Law and the Web.
Throughout these tracks, some of the interesting issues included reputation, mobile Web, collaborative filtering, trust propagation, Net neutrality, digital identities and Bibles written in Klingon. My favourite was the legal panel which discussed privacy and data retention issues. It was interesting to see how the perspectives of law practitioners and computer scientists clash when it comes to determining the roles of law in the Web. I really enjoyed my days in Greece. The intellectual stimulation was well complemented by the cultural sites across Athens.
I am thrilled to be a part of Web Science’s history, and what better place to do this than in a historical city like Athens! Summary Report for WebSci ’09 Conference Athens, Greece 18th-20th March, 2009 by Bipana Bantawa Doctoral Student It was indeed very exciting to attend my first Web Science conference and I admit that I came back with mixed feelings about the proceedings of the conference. The very first workshop on web science curriculum turned out to be more like a presentation session and I really wish there could have been a better way to handle the unprecendented number of participants.
Although it was mandatory to submit a position paper to attend the workshop, most of the attendees joined at the last minute and I believe we lost a great opportunity to have an engaging debate about the subject. In the end I would have agreed with Jim Hendler’s argument that the curriculum should be such that students should be able to create something new and only relevant elements from different disciplines should be chosen for the purpose.
The second workshop on the impact of the web was conducted on similar lines and I was eagerly looking forward to have a discussion, which ofcourse did not materialise due to the structure of the room and number of participants. I certainly enjoyed most of the participant’s views and Steven Harnad’s introduction to the debate could not have been more appropriate. Nigel Shadbolt’s key note speech on the second day was certainly promising and encouraging to novices like myself.
His emphasis on philosophy and multidisciplinarity was the highlight for me of that day. The following paper session on ‘teaching and learning’ began with a presentation, which really disappointed me since it gave us a brief overview of the web phenomenon in a very superficial manner without much evidence to back it up. It might be a bit too critical about it, but maybe I was expecting something new and exciting as a strarter. However, Carl Lagoze’s presentation on OreChem introduced me to new methodologies that I had been looking for.
The highlight of the third day and perhaps the entire conference for me was Noshir contractors key note, which was perhaps the most engaging speeches of the event and it was wonderful to hear from a true multidisciplinarian and I am certainly going to follow his work, which I believe I would not have found so easily otherwise. The paper session on social networks was the one that was most memorable that day and I quite enjoyed Schindler and Vrandecic’s presentation on wikipedia’s new features and Halpin’s philosophical arguments for this methodologies.
Overall, I definitely gained a lot from attending this conference by getting to meet academics from different disciplines and fellow doctoral students who had such diverse views that I had to challenge my own. I was also introduced to new methodologies and theories which I will study in detail in the next couple of months to determine what could be important for my research. I appreciated the diversity of participants and their effort to understand each other although they came from completely different academic disciplines, which I imagine is not an easy matter.
The opportunity to briefly introduce myself to several academics whose work I intend to follow and maybe ask for advice on different aspects on my own idea was truly invaluable. It was my first conference as a doctoral student and I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate. Apart from learning more about the emerging field, I feel greatly encouraged to pursue my own research and attend future conferences and I am looking forward to the next websci event. Thank you, again. WebSci09 Conference Attendance Report Mohamed Bishr m. [email protected] e The first WebSci conference was a very good chance for me to attend the birth of a new research community. The overall organization of the conference was, in fact excellent, and the poster session where I was involved was very well managed. I have met several interesting people at the conference; as well I have managed to make valuable contacts for my research and career. The conference as an interaction platform proved very valuable to me. The papers presented at the conference, while being diverse, managed to attract my attention for the most part.
Especially papers focusing on non-technical aspects of the web as this is an area that is often understudied. The location of the conference was ideal, and allowed me to experience a new country and culture, which is always a benefit I’m look forward to from attending conferences. My attendance of the conference was supported by a generous grant from WSRI sponsors, and as a young researcher this support is warmly appreciated and I hope it will continue to the next few years of the WebSci conference.
Overall, it was, for me, a very good opportunity to present my work and receive feedback from a multi-disciplinary audience. It is also, a forum of established people in their domains which I have found very stimulating. WebSci09 Trip Report Ilaria Bordino I have been very glad to be given the opportunity to attend the 1st Web Science Conference. We all know that in the last few years the Web has really changed the life of everybody. In particular, it has changed the way in which we communicate and collaborate, disclosing possibilities that could not be even imagined before.
The Web Science Research Initiative is promoting a joint work of several different scientific fields, with the aim of gaining a clear comprehension of the fundamental issues that have to be addressed in order to improve the future design and usage of the World Wide Web. This new Science is inherently multidisciplinary, as it requires to take into consideration different aspects that actually need to apply knowledge derived from several fields, like physics, computer science and also social science. The peculiar nature of this new Science has made the participation in this conference a novel and great experience for me.
First of all, I had the chance of meeting the great scientists that are the founders of the Web Science Initiative. It was really nice to meet people that have given so great a contribution to the development of the Web and to listen to their opinions and ideas about the crucial issues that researchers have to take into consideration when thinking about the future of the Web. The presented papers were also very interesting because they spanned different topics from research areas much broader than the ones that I am used to see when taking part in typical Computer Science conferences.
There was a lot of interaction between computer scientists and social scientists. This is important, because the WWW does not exist without the participation of people and organizations. Significant parts of people’s lives are now spent online in many countries. For example, among the topics that were taken into consideration, there were eCommerce, Social Sciences and e-learning, e-culture, Cybercrime, tagging systems. The researchers discussed many problems that have a critical importance for the so called online society, like openness and control, privacy and trust.
The conference also addressed issues concerning people’s behavior and motivation on line. Yana Breindl Ph. D Candidate Information and Communication Sciences Department Universite Libre de Bruxelles Belgium Susan Davies Administrator for the Web Science Research Initiative School of Electronics and Computer Science University of Southampton UK April 20th, 2009 Subject: WebSci’09 Bursary Report To whom it may concern, The Websci’09 conference was worth participating in. From the first day on, the program was of outstanding quality.
It was a unique occasion for me as a Ph. D student to listen to high-standing speakers which turned out to be quite approachable as the size of the conference was small enough to feel comfortable. The various panels were highly interesting and touched upon most issues related to the World Wide Web. Coming from a social sciences background, I found it very stimulating to get in touch with many scholars from various disciplines and especially the computer sciences. At stages it was hard to discuss ones research objects in more depth.
The topics represented were very wide-ranging and the lack of common concepts and knowledge about the others’ disciplines turned out to be quite a challenge as conversations risked to remain somewhat superficial. However, the conference left me more convinced than ever that it is very necessary to favor interdisciplinary research. When studying the World Wide Web, legal, political, social, technical and security issues need to be addressed. As the web constitutes a unique site for research, scholars from all fields need to think about how to address its many challenges.
In this sense, it could have been even more interesting to organize methodological panels. Indeed, all participants would have benefited from a deeper insight into how other disciplines study the WWW. It was extremely rewarding to be part of such an ambitious project and I am looking forward to the next conference. Sincerely, Yana Breindl Report about WebSci’09 Conference Author: Lucia Ciofi It is not an easy task to write a report about a conference. A conference, obviously, it is not made up only of presented papers and posters, which, at least, it is possible to read whenever you want thanks to on-line publishing.
A conference conveys something more and the spare value comes mainly from sensations and emotions felt during the happening. Let me remember then, that it has been exciting to see such a gathering of many famous researchers, whose work is widely known and appreciated. Beside it has been really impressive to see the success of the conference among the students, as there was a huge number of them attending the conference, and it is easy to reckon how the idea to become a web scientist is regarded as an appealing one.
What instead, from my point of view, it has been difficult to perceive during the conference, it is a unitary vision for the Web Science. This is probably due to two facts: first one, Web Science is still a very young discipline and second one, its aim to follow an interdisciplinary approach it is extremely complex to obtain. Then it is still difficult to find out a way of its own. Probably for this reason the program seemed to be a bit fragmented and that each fragment was not fully connected to each other.
Beside the lack of a common language across the various disciplines involved in Web Science makes difficult to understand the point of view of researchers that come from different cultural backgrounds. However the main target of the conference was to officially declare that this discipline has moved its first steps and it is no more a project of a few people, but that it has become a field of work shared by many different researchers and this target has been fully reached.
For what concerns the choice of topics for the paper sessions, it seems that it has been paid more attention to social aspects connected with the Web and a bit less attention has been given to infrastructural aspects, for example, only the session entitled “Web of data” was concerned with technological developments connected with the Web, but it could have been interesting to expand this topic. Again it must be difficult to find a proper balance among so many different aspects addressed by this discipline.
On the other side the poster session has tried to solve the aforementioned question but it has resulted a bit confusing for the high number of posters presented and the different research areas addressed. At last it could be worthy to make a reflection about how an interdisciplinary approach could be a dangerous way to follow in the training of future web scientists, because it could result in having researchers that will have a rich cultural background but that could not master any particular area in order to conduct a proper research work as the one required nowadays.
Among the papers presented, I would remember the work “Semantic technologies for learning and teaching in the web 2. 0 era” which has reported a clear summary about which are the current positions in Semantic Web field and its possible developments in the future. Beside it seems important the effort spent trying to classify the current technologies available, since there is a lot of confusion in this area at the moment.
Another work really engaging, it has been the one entitled “Class associated structure derived from linked objects” which identifies a possible model to describe the structure of RDF data published on the web following the linked data principles. The capability to understand such a model is really important for the implementation of new applications, as it has been important for the current web, the analysis of the model of the information structure which allowed the birth of the famous Page Rank algorithm. Another work worth mentioning is the one entitled “Social meaning from the web: From Wittgenstein To Search Engines”.
It takes the move from an ongoing discussion about the meaning of the URIs. The object debated is: from the point of view of the Semantic Web, the URI is a simple identifier without any meaning or it has to convey a meaning, as it is often used to identify different things in different situations? The author thinks that an URI has to convoy a meaning but he is not satisfied with the current approaches to solve this issue. His idea then, is to find the meaning of a URI through the meaning that the community of users gives to it, and in order to reach this purpose, he has studied the queries made to a search engine.
The idea is good but it is possible to scale for all URIs this kind of approach? In the poster session I have appreciated the one entitled “Towards a reference architecture for Semantic Web applications”. The purpose of this work was to find common features that are present in many different semantic applications and from this analysis it has been tried to define a common architecture, which could represent a reference to develop software frameworks in order to aid the implementation of semantic applications, an approach that currently is widely used for the development of common web applications.
Web Science 2009 Conference Trip Report. By Shankaron Gambi, Sheffield Hallam University. The Web science conference was the first ever conference of its kind to be held and Athens was to make it one of the most memorable. Being held in Athens Foundation of the Hellenic World the conference boasted a unique venue that represented a virtual future and helped to convey the conferences message of the webs power and its importance in our future world and everyday lives. The conference was on all sides a real success and easily met its key objectives of bridging the gap between computer science and social science.
People from Psychology, Computer science, Web design, Sociology, Philosophy and other disciplines readily filled the conference rooms, each presentation focusing on a number of diverse aspects of the impact of the Web on our lives. What was most enjoyable about this was that people genuinely seemed interested in learning about the research being carried out in different disciplines and many people like myself used the conference to help them shed light on different aspects of their own research.
The key emphasize of the conference-society on-line, really brought alive the importance of understanding the web from both a behavioural and technological perspective. Coming from a social psychological perspective I have long thought that together such disciplines could offer insightful answers to many research questions. I am already theorizing the conclusions of my PhD which incorporate both spheres of the webs technological and social aspects. A real highlight of the conference for me was the poster session held on Wednesday evening.
This was a highlight for me not only because I was presenting my own research in a poster but because of the opportunity it gave people to actively ask questions about other researchers work and learn so much more about the work being done in the very new field of web science. I also met some very interesting people who had some very original ideas and who will no doubt go onto make some very big contributions to the new field of web science. There is already talk about next year’s Web Science’s 2010 conference commencing.
I believe that this conference will only get bigger and more popular as the years go on and perhaps may include a number of other diverse disciplines which is very exciting. I will be in my final year of my PhD then and so plan to apply to present my research there. Overall, I really enjoyed the conference. I feel that the conferences success was in its highlighting the importance and significance the web is playing in changing the way people communicate, socialize, work and generally live. Such an emphasis showed the positive power the web can have on many people’s distant and isolating lives.
In such cases I believe that the power of the web has helped many people and society as a whole to live in a more connected way and has helped dissolve the loneliness and isolation in what would be a very disconnected offline world without it! 1 Web Science 2009 Report Harry Halpin H. [email protected] ac. uk School of Informatics University of Edinburgh 2 Buccleuch Place EH8 9LW Edinburgh Scotland, UK The Web Science 2009 conference was an astounding success, and I can only give the briefest highlights.
In particular, I presented Edinburgh’s more traditional Informatics curriculum, such as our over-subscribed information retrieval course, and received very useful feedback on the latest work on Web Science curriculum. One of the most personally productive sessions for me was the workshop on “Workshop on Understanding The Impact of the Web on Scholarly Communication (UIWoSC). ” Stevan Harnad’s presentation, even over video, on the concept of the Web as “sky-writing” was of immense relevance to my own work, as he seems to be pursuing similar ideas but from a slightly di? erent angle.
We seem to have a major theoretical disagreement, as I am ultimately interested in how “collective intelligence” forms in the form of a new relational theory of the self based on the ideas of Maturana and Deleuze, while he is more interested in the Web as a form of external medium operating within a more classical Lockean or Kantian cognitive framework. I also explained the role of W3C Incubator Groups in possibly standardizing a vocabulary for open linked bibliographic databases. From the various sessions, I found the paper on “On Measuring Expertise in Collaborative Tagging Systems” by Yeung et al. o be by to be very relevant to my previous work on collaborative tagging systems. The largest surprise I had was during the poster session, where a poster by Jeremy Smart, Jim Hendler, and others talked about how my Ph. D. advisor, Andy Clark’s, philosophical analysis on the Extended Mind could be applied to the Web. I had an absolutely fascinating conversation with Jeremy Smart, and perhaps future collaboration could result. The invited talk by Noshir Contractor opened my eyes to a whole new world of statistical generative models for networks, and I explained linked open data to him in a way he really enjoyed over lunch.
The highlight of the conference for me was of course my talk, in which I had the honor of having Tim Berners-Lee, Jim Hendler, and Nigel Shadbolt in the audience. The talk went well, although it was di? cult for me to compress my entire Ph. D. thesis into a relatively short talk. Jim Hendler gave very excellent feedback about my sampling method and how I should make my sample more representative of the Semantic Web. Tim Berners-Lee gave me an invaluable hour or so of his time to give his feedback, and con? rmed in person a lot of the theses that I was attributing to him.
Lastly, Nigel Shadbolt mentioned how his Ph. D. work was on a similar topic, work that I am now investigating. WebSci’09 Trip Report Dave Karpf May 21, 2009 The WebSci’09 conference proved to be an excellent experience for me in all regards. Going into the conference, I recognized it as my first opportunity to meet and interact with the international, cross-disciplinary web science community and an excellent chance to present my research and gain feedback from members of the various fields represented there. I could not be happier with how everything turned out.
From an early interaction on Wednesday evening with semantic web developer Lynda Hardman to several excellent conversations with students and faculty at the Oxford Internet Institute, I built the framework for what I believe will be longtermproductive working relationships. The presentation of my conference paper, “Why Bowl Alone When You Can Flashmob the Bowling Alley? Implications of the Mobile Web for Online-Offline Reputation Systems,” was to a large and enthusiastic audience which asked several useful questions for further exploration.
I am currently revising the conference paper for publication with Policy and Internet, one of the conference cosponsoring journals. Keynote speeches by Tim Berners-Lee, Noshir Contractor, and Nigel Shadbolt were particularly illuminating for me, drawing together topics in network theory, the semantic web, and data mining in ways that had clear relevance to my work in political science. I also particularly appreciated Jim Hendler’s enunciation during the keynote Friday night that “we aren’t all from the same tribe. More than anything, what I took away from the conference was a clear sense of what Web Science is and what it isn’t. Web Science isn’t a single discipline. It is a space where those elements of the various disciplines who share an interest in the web come together and interact with each other, “cross-pollinating,” if you will. Those speeches, along with papers presented at the “Government” and “Legal” panels, were probably the most impactful for me as a scholar. As a whole, I was extremely pleased to have attended WebSci’09 and was thankful for the generous bursary support which helped make the trip possible.
I am looking forward to next year’s conference and am already considering possible paper topics. WebSci09 Trip Report Spyros Kotoulas I have attended the first WebSci conference in Athens, Greece. In general, the conference was a happy mix of computer scientists (especially SemWeb people), sociologists, lawyers, philosophers , politicians, journalists and other disciplines that I failed to spot. I think that everybody contributed to making a really interdisciplinary conference. The opening event was attended by approx. 000 people and the rest of the conference by approx. 200 – 300. The conference started with a workshop on web science curricula. Researchers from various universities presented new studies that they have devised for Web Science. I think there were about 5 of purely web science curricula, and some related ones. There was a lengthy discussion about which disciplines should be included in a web science curriculum. Some proposals, along with an argument supporting them were: Humanities: We need to be able to examine and interpret sources on the Web.
Linked data: It is all about links and knowing WHAT it is that we are talking about. Social science: We need sociology to show us how the Web is changing the world. Other proposals, for which the argument was not so clear to me were philosophy, economics & business, art, humanities. Although there was effort to “throw” some of these disciplines out, it did not happen. Furthermore, the curricula presented did not contain all of these disciplines. The opening event was meant for a much broader audience. Major greek policial figures attended. As a result, the audience was approx. 1000 people.
The keynotes from Tim Berners-Lee and Wendy Hall were, as expected a bit of general information about Web Science, intended for a general audience. They were followed by a very different keynote. The accent changed from that of a british Sir and a Dame to than of a person from Crete and the content from generally the Web to embedded systems: J. Sifakis (Turing award laureate) gave a talk about reliability and security of embedded systems, with a bit technical content. A keynote by N. Shadbolt was also about web science in general. There several talks/keynotes about trust, security and privacy.
The point was made that it is essential for the Web. Some people were advocating that this should be done through legislation and some by system design. These talks were generally interesting. There were in total 27 paper presentations in (mostly) 2 parallel sessions. The topics were quite diverse, covering all aforementioned disciplines. I saw presentations on privacy, linked data, user interfaces, sociology, law and more. All in all, there were quite interesting and only a few of them I could not follow. I should also note that this was not the same for the non-comp. ci participants. I have serious doubts that they could understand some of the more technical presentations. There was a 2,5 hours poster session. Approx 40% of the poster presenters did not show up in the conference, mainly from the non comp. sci. fields. I was presenting a poster about MaRVIN. There was much interest for it. Namely, I was kept talking for almost the entire session and I barely had time to look at other posters. Admittedly, the interest was from the Sem. Web people. Researchers from other disciplines shunned with fear from papers with very technical content. 7 papers accepted for presentation – 16% acceptance rate 115 accepted as posters – 75% acceptance rate Ordered list of participation by country (my own approximation, they have shown a tag cloud): UK – There were many presentations from Southampton people US Greece Spain Netherlands All in all, it was a very educational experience and it was really great looking at how different disciplines fit together. Report During the 18th and 20th of March 2009 I had the opportunity to attend and participate as a volunteer and as a new scientist at the WEB Science Conference: Society Online 2009.
The experience was unique and worthwhile. I attended the most interested to me lectures and spend many hours during the poster session reading the most of the posters of the conference. As far as it concerns the lectures I attended the presentations of distinguished scientists from around the world on issues that are related to my scientific area and interests such as Socio-Psychology of the Web. As far as it concerns the posters I really was enthusiastic about the number of them and the multi-dimensionality of the issues they covered.
I had the chance to keep notes useful to my scientific research, meet posters’ authors and have discussions about our common research interests. Additionally, as I had expressed the willingness and I been selected to be at the organizing committee, I voluntarily offered my help whenever and wherever there was a need during the preparation months and during the three days of the conference. This was another aspect of my participation to the conference and it was a very important and useful experience, an undoubtedly life experience.
The conference organization phase gave me the opportunity to understand better and in depth many issues related to a scientific conference and science. Finally, as my research work was selected for the poster session I had the chance during the conference and especially during the poster session to present to many people and especially to people who where experienced researchers or academicians the work that had been done by me up to these days and receive back their comments. Dialogues developed about the theme and content of my poster and offered me a lot of material opinions, impressions, scientific methods, future implications) so as to improve my work in future. I end up with the conclusion that the WebScience Conference Society OnLine 2009 was very successful and as far as it concerns my case it was a great challenge and a experience I lived to the full. Helen Koutsonika Report It was my great honor to attend WebSci’09 in Athens, Greece in March. First of all, I would like to thank Susan Davies in the Southampton University. Without her help, as a postgraduate student from China, I wouldn’t be able to get the bursary and afford my travelling expense.
Also, I want to thanks her colleague, Samantha Collins, for her reminding me of the report. I am really sorry for the late of this report. It was a fancy trip. As soon as I relaxed from the discomposure in my first oversea travel, I indulged myself in enjoying the beautiful view outside the plane. The clouds above Beijing, the sea near the United Arab Emirates (where I changed my flight) and the mountains surrounding the Athens were all very impressive. And of course, the Aegean Sea! It was so amazing! In the four days in the Greece, I lived in a youth hotel near the Sigma Square.
Although the conference was held in the Hellenic World, which located between the Piraeus and Athens, the metro was very convenience for me to go to the conference. In the wonderful conference, I met with many famous scholars such Tim Berners-Lee and Joseph Sifakis, whose topics greatly attracted my attention. From the presentations in the WWW Forum, I knew the latest advancements in the area of the Internet research. What was more exciting was that my poster attracted the interest of many scholars. By responding to the comments and explained my research to them, I help them understand more deeply the situation in China.
As I have just accepted a PhD admission from the Hong Kong City University, where I am supposed to continue my research on internet and its impact on society, I think such an wonderful experience of attending an international conference will make me more sure of the topics that I should devote my time on. As I mentioned in my bursary-application letter: this fancy travel will undoubtedly be an unforgettable memory of me, a future scholar: at the age of 24, he got his first English paper published; and at the same time, it was the first time he went abroad to see another world.
Wu Lingfei School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University Jun. 12, 2009 REPORT ON WEB SCIENCE 2009 CONFERENCE: SOCIETY ON-LINE 18-20 March 2009, Athens, Greece Date: 18 March 2009 The conference starting with two half-day workshops: Second Web Science Curriculum Workshop (WSCW2) chair by Dr. Catherine Pope, and Workshop on Understanding The Impact of the Web on Scholarly Communication (UIWoSC) chair by Dr. Leslie Carr. The opening ceremony officiated by H. E. President of the Hellenic Republic, Dr. K. Papoulias. Welcome addresses were given by 3 other important persons including Prof. Dame Wendy Hall.
Primary keynotes had been given by Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Prof. J. Sifakis. Prof. Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave talked about the concept of Web Science by comparing it with human neuron in mind. WWW design could be redesigned to replicate the neurons in human mind. Social Networks for human should be nurtured and encouraged from all over the world where web could be used for lots of benefits especially for humanity. The second keynotes speaker talked about system design in software engineering. Date: 19 March 2009 The first keynote given by Prof. Nigel Shadbolt emphasized on refining our insight about the Web Science.
He talked about the dynamic of Web Science where it is for global used either in computer science or other domains, such as sociology, law etc, by avoiding the two culture syndrome. The collaborative between all domains could enhance creativity, engineering and science which will generate new innovation and development, because collaborative innovations came from collective intelligents. The conference followed with paper sessions, and I attended the Trust and Distrust session. First paper covered about reputation systems which explained about the set size, proxy and algorithm for the systems.
Second paper was about recommendation system which recommend about topic or others with personalization. And last paper talked about the Devil’s long tail. Afterwards, I have attended the Legal Panel session where the discussed about data retention, law – between practical and moral/ethical and transferring data through mobile devices. The second keynote given by Jacques Bus, covered the principle of trust, 7 laws of identity and privacy including accountability, transparency, fair distribution of responsibilities, support tool and protection of personal sphere.
The conference followed with panel discussion on Trust on the Web; paper sessions of Tags and Search and posters session. Date: 20 March 2009 Starting with paper session on Web of Data, covered papers on Class association structure, social meaning on the Web, interactive information access and new features to Wikipedia. The conference continued with discussion panel on the Cultural Convergence. The third keynote given by Noshir Contractor highlighted on Social Networks, based on Generative Mechanism regarding the questions and answers of 8 issues on why do we create and sustain networks?.
Followed by more paper sessions and ended with closing ceremony. Written by: Miss Zurina Muda IAM, ECS, University of Southampton April 2009 WEB SCIENCE CONFERENCE 2009 March 18-20, Athens – Greece Dade Nurjanah Learning Societies Lab Electronics and Computer School University of Southampton [email protected] soton. ac. uk The Web Science describes the evolution of the web and systems on the web. The implementation of systems is not only related to technological aspect systems but also social aspect. This one page report The Web Science Conference 2009 held at Theatron, in Athens Greece, on March18-20, 2009.
The conference was excellent that many researchers of many fields attended the event and many interdisciplinary papers and pages. All sessions conducted in English and the Poster session were excellent. The parallel sessions I attended are the ones which related to my PhD research: Learning and Teaching, Openness versus Control, Web of Data and Life Online. The paragraphs below briefly summarize papers and poster presented in the Web Science Conference 2009. Teaching and Learning. Nowadays, with the popularity of web and Web 2. , learning systems has changed to open content system with evolving courseware that support lifelong learning. However, Learning is not only about content delivery. It must involve content, services and users, and considers three aspects of technological, methodological and organizational aspects. Deal with the three aspects, semantic technology has given significant improvement to learning systems by adding some information to content that both human and machines can understand, and also providing reasoning mechanisms which support adaptation and personalization of learning.
In addition to semantic technology, social network aspects has changed the paradigm of learning provided by learning tools from adaptiveindividualized learning to personalized-collaborative learning. With this paradigm learning is not a personal process between teacher and learner, but also social process that each learner can learn from other learners. Collaborative Work, Knowledge Sharing and Online Community. There are many social systems that facilitate social interaction and collaborative work. One of them is Wikis that have shifted authoring paradigm to community driven knowledge development.
It facilitates knowledge and content creation which is complex, immense and requires collaborative expertise. In addition, it leads to the development of online communities. However, the social webs have a problem in managing content that always evolve, thus causing complex structure and the difficulties in finding information. Semantic technologies like semantic annotation offer a solution to overcome the problem by structuring the content. We call the systems Semantic Wikis. At the other side of collaborative work, collaborative tagging provides a way for organizing and sharing knowledge.
It enables user to find other research and researcher which are relevant to a particular domain. The relevancy of fields can also be found from other social technologies like Friend Of A Friend (FOAF). This network can also lead to the development of online communities. E-Commerce, e-Government, and e-Health. The web also gives impacts to daily life. Marketing including auctions, counseling, behavioral interventions, culture and governmental tasks are some works harnessing the web. Some works in the fields applied cognitive aspects to improve the result.
The implementations raise issues of policy and regulation, trust and distrust, security, control, and bandwidth capacity. WebScience 2009 18th – 20th March, Athens – Greece I had the opportunity to participate in the WebScience 2009 conference. It was a very interesting experience: my first international conference. I met many people from various areas: from psychology to engineering. The most interesting meeting was the WWW Forum, where I had the possibility to know Time Berners-Lee, the father of HTTP technology.
For me, it was the first time I met a person that has changed the future of the computer science. Moreover, I had the opportunity to talk with him and I found a very kind person, open to new ideas. Apart from the WWW Forum, the conference had more interesting appointments. It started with a workshop about the definition of an academic curriculum on Web Science: a head to head among different areas. Participants started an animated discussion about the possibility to develop a curriculum with psychological and sociological topics, besides informatics ones.
This discussion allowed me to reflect about a point, today very popular in the community of science: the relation between humanities and informatics. Just few weeks ago, I participated in another workshop, where participants attempted to a similar discussion. During next days, I attempted to all sessions about social network, socio-psychological aspects of the Web, Tag and Search. Some of presented papers were very interesting and gave me the possibility to understand new aspects of problems that I am studying for my personal research.
In particular, there was an article about a mathematic model to represent a typical social network: the authors showed how it is possible to formalize unpredictable behaviours. Another one was about the measurement of user’s expertise in tagging based search. The last one that I want to talk about is a study to define the sense to be a member of a community, considering Facebook as an example. Another interesting meeting was the poster session. I found many interesting works related to my research area and I met authors for a comparison and an idea exchange.
In conclusion, I want to give thanks to the local organization that helped me with the accommodation and various useful information during the conference. Moreover, I want to congratulate the organization for the chosen venue: I discovered a lovely city that offered me a funny stay. At the end, I want to give thanks to the Web Science Research Initiative that gave me the possibility to attempt to this very interesting workshop. I hope to meet you soon and to participate together to future conferences. Best Regards, Teresa Onorati Phd Student University Carlos III of Madrid
WebSci’09 – Trip Report Clare Owens, [email protected] soton. ac. uk I had the privilege of attending WebSci’09, thanks to a bursary provided by the conference organisers. The conference was a wonderful event, and I feel that my attendance benefited me in various ways: An obvious significant point for me was the poster session, where I presented my poster on methods for re-imagining social tools in new contexts. During this session I spoke to various people from a broad range of backgrounds, including computer scientists, sociologists and a reporter from an IT news company.
Given this diversity of background, I received an equally broad range of feedback from these people, which was highly useful – as was the experience of explaining my work to noncomputer scientists. I also had the opportunity to meet and network with many people during the conference. Of particular note is the connection I formed with Lynda Hardman, head of the Interactive Information Access group at a university in Amsterdam. Lynda turns out to be carrying out research somewhat related to my own, and I hope to remain in contact with her and possibly collaborate in the future.
Of course, I also attended various paper sessions, which broadened my knowledge of all things Web Science. I was particularly interested to learn of work regarding perception of extremist activity online; the meaning of URIs (presented by Harry Halpin from the University of Edinburgh – we continued the discussion of his paper during the coffee session afterwards); SemWeb technologies to augment museum repositories (this paper was by Lynda); and offloading cognition onto the web. In addition to the above, I was inspired by the various keynotes, especially those given by Tim Berners-Lee and Nosh Contractor.
Overall, the conference was awash with activity and energy, and the opportunity to meet and speak with people from such diverse backgrounds was wonderful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers for running this event, and also the scholarship programme. Betty Purwandari’s Bursary Report Web Science Conference Athens, Greece (18 – 20 March 2009) It was enormously great to attend the 1st Web Science Conference, because it gave a unique experience to feel the real vibrant of a new born Web Science community.
The participants consisted of two different tribes. One of them was computer scientists, who traditionally gathered in the World Wide Web conferences. Another tribe consisted of social scientists, lawyers, political scientists, economists, and psychologists, who have studied the Web from non technical point of view. In this report, I write some highlights about keynote speakers, interesting papers and posters, useful contacts, suggestion for the 2nd Web Science Conference, along with conclusion of lessons learnt from the conference.
On the opening ceremony, Prof Dame Wendy Hall spoke about the basic idea of Web Science, plus general goal of the conference. She emphasised a crucial issue in Web Science to develop a new methodology, in order to anticipate potential social impact of the web, as well as to help us build more robust system. She said, “It is not just about the technology. It is about human behavior. ” Later on, Prof Sir Tim Berners-Lee delivered a remarkable speech. He mentioned two challenges in Web Science. Firstly, he mentioned the importance to adjust the mobile web to help less fortunate people in the developing world.
Secondly, there was a necessity to advance the web as links of data, not just as links of web pages. The next day, Prof Nigel Shadbolt thoroughly explained the existence of Web Science as a new or old discipline. And on the last day, Dr Noshir Contractor impressively talked about some real data and examples in the USA, showing how social networking on the web related to communication theories. Among conference papers, David Karpf’s paper (Why Bowl Alone When You Can Flashmob the Bowling Alley? ) was very closely related to my research area.
It was about the impact of iPhones on a reputation system among US politicians. I have had conversation with Mr Karpf ([email protected] upenn. edu), a PhD candidate in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He gave references to Thomas Valente’s and Everett Rogers’ papers about the diffusion of innovation. It could be used to forecast the impact of mobile web to rural people. There were also some interesting papers from the Oxford Internet Institute. However, they focused on the impact of the web on European Union countries, not to the developing world.
A discussion with Prof Helen Margetts revealed that I should contact Prof Richard Heeks, from the Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester (http://www. sed. manchester. ac. uk/idpm/staff/heeks_richard. htm). It turned out that Prof Heeks did significant research on mobile phone for development. In addition, there was a very interesting poster from the Brazilian Institute for Web Science Research. I had to keep contacting them for future cooperation. For the next Web Science Conference, it would be better if all talks are in English, in order to make all sessions being more inclusive.
If there are speakers who will use different languages, it could be very helpful if the information about headphones and translation service is written clearly on the conference booklet. As a conclusion, it was tremendously amazing listening to talks from various experts, getting involved in discussion with people from a mixture of disciplines having the same interests in the web, as well as building networks for future collaboration. As a new web scientist, I really hope to grow and mature with the new born Web Science community. WebSci’09: Society Online ?
Conference Trip Report Mark Schueler? Athens, Greece? 18th–20th March 2009 I was quite fortunate to attend the first global Web Science conference, held at the Hellenic Cosmos in Athens last month. Attended by over 300 registrants and leading figures in the Web world, it provided an excellent view of current and forthcoming developments in the study of the Web’s technological and social dimensions. I attended sessions on: Web Science Curriculum Understanding the Impact of the Web on Scholarly Communication Trust and Distrust Legal Panel Openness vs.
Control Social Networks Cultural Convergence and Digital Technology I also heard keynotes by: Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee Professor Joseph Sifakis Professor Nigel Shadbolt Professor Noshir Contractor I had the pleasure of meeting a number of people working in areas relevant to my work, including Pascal Jurgens, Shankaron Gambi, Peter Geczy, Wolf Richter, Chris Eckl, Dave Tarrant and Erik Cambria. I also met several people with key Web credentials and broad general interest, including Bebo White, Daniel Weitzner, Jim Hendler, Ian Millard, Michalis Vafopoulos, and Thanassis Tiropanis.
The high point of the conference was Noshir Contractor’s talk, which ranged across the essence of contemporary, leading-edge developments in social uses of the Web. All taken, WebSci’09 provided a broad-ranging view of all the latest in Web Science. Despite a few off-moments, the overall experience was quite productive and I look forward to attending this conference again in the future. I was able to learn more about the state of the art of Web Science. I met interesting contributors to the field, and learned more about current research and possible opportunities for collaboration. In the end, WebSci’09 was quite a worthwhile experience.
WebSci’09 Conference Trip Report Rob Vesse April 2, 2009 1 Wednesday The Conference opened on the Wednesday evening with a series of Welcome Speeches and Keynotes by a variety of people. Wendy Hall gave a brief but e? ective welcome and introduction to Web Science while Tim Berners-Lee gave a potted history of the Web leading up to the Semantic Web and Web Science as his Keynote. Josef Sifakis gave a keynote that contained remarkably little Web Science except for the closing few slides where he discussed the future of the Web of Things which the Semantic Web and Ubiquitous Computing may ultimately lead to. Thursday Thursday was in my opinion the best day of the Conference with several interesting paper sessions, some excellent panel sessions and the poster session. The day began with Nigel Shadbolt giving the keynote discussing Web Science as a whole before moving to the ? rst paper session ’Trust & Distrust’. This session included an interesting paper presented by Kieron O’Hara on how the web can facilitate (though not create) extremism in religion .
I then attended the Legal Panel which involved some intriguing discussions and arguments regarding the EUs proposed ISP Data Retention plans and how this might a? ect our privacy and whether it needs to come into force as law or not. Statistics regarding how little the authorities have actually used this kind of information provided food for thought about whether they could really justify it. In the afternoon I missed the keynote in order to sit in on an impromptu panel organised by Les Carr for a Skype session with Web Science Masters students back in Southampton.
The panel consisted of Nigel Shadbolt, Noshir Contractor, Helen Margetts and James Hendler answering questions posed by the Masters students about Web Science, I also spoke brie? y to the Masters students to give them my impressions of the opening Keynotes and the conference so far. Then I went on to attend the ’Tags & Search’ paper session in which I was particularly impressed by Yeung et al’s SPEAR algorithm for determining expertise in collaborative tagging system which can thwart most existing spam attacks on these systems . 1
In the evenings poster session I saw several interesting posters but most notable was Heitmann et al ’s poster on a reference architecture for describing semantic web (SW) applications that was based upon an analysis of the structure of a wide variety of existing SW applications . This provides an easy way to evaluate the completeness of any SW application you build and compare it to others. 3 Friday On Friday morning I attended the ‘Web of Data’ paper session which included Harry Halpin’s shortened version of the talk he recently gave at Southampton on Social Meaning on the Web .
This was of particular interest to me since the issue of meaning of URIs is potentially signi? cant in my research. Afterwards there was a Panel session on Cultural Convergence and Digital Technology which I felt was a very poor session, a Greek MP gave an interesting opening speech but the other speakers were poor. Two of them were techno-phobes who primarily moaned about the impact of the web on society and the other simply wanted to talk about the digital technology in theatre work she’d done which had no connection to the web.
After lunch Noshir Contractor gave the keynote which was very positive about the potential of Web Science and presented a little bit of some research that he and his collaborators are already carrying out on Social Networking in Massively Multi-player Online Games which has had some surprising results. I attended the ‘Life On-Line’ paper session in the afternoon which contained a couple of interesting papers on work being conducted by other researchers at Southampton though nothing was directly relevant to my own research. The Conference ? ished with some closing remarks by Wendy Hall followed by a long speech by the Managing Director of the Conference centre which highlighted the centre’s long term history of innovative web and technology use to present cultural exhibits. 4 Conclusion Overall the Conference was highly interesting with the opportunity to talk to or hear from a wide variety of people; in particular those from outside Computer Science. We have a tendency to get wrapped up in the technology and it’s fascinating to get a clear non-technical point of view on the web from people in other ? elds.
The Conference also gave me the opportunity to get to know more of the people from Southampton who are involved with Web Science and gain a broader view of the ? eld as a whole. 2 References  Harry Halpin. Social meaning on the web: From wittgenstein to search engines. In WebSci’09: Society On-Line, 2009.  Benjamin Heitmann, Conor Hayes, and Eyal Oren. Towards a reference architecture for applications leveraging semantic web technologies. In WebSci’09: Society On-Line, 2009.  Kieron O’Hara and David Stevens. The devil’s long tail: Religious moderation and extremism on the web.
In WebSci’09: Society On-Line, 2009.  Ching Man Au Yeung, Michael Noll, Nicholas Gibbins, Christoph Meinel, and Nigel Shadbolt. On measuring expertise in collaborative tagging systems. In WebSci’09: Society On-Line, 2009. 3 WebSci’09: Trip Report Patricia Victor The call for papers of this new conference immediately aroused my interest, since some of the main topics were about trust, social networking and e-commerce – precisely what I’m working on. When reading the CFP again, I also noticed that it was not going to be a typical AI/CS conference like I was used to, but something completely di? rent, with people coming from all kinds of research areas. I only had to look at the program of the session in which I was presenting to see that this was the case indeed: the other two speakers had a background in sociology and political sciences (and I think the largest part of the public too). This was certainly an interesting opportunity to listen and learn from researchers in an area I was not familiar with, but it also brought along some di? culties for me; adapting myself to the writing style and the way of presenting sociology-related talks was not that easy.
The same holds for the organization of the session: personally, I don’t see the bene? t of postponing questions till after all talks have ? nished, then letting people ask all the questions at once, and only then allowing to address all of them (I’m more in favor of asking one question, then answering that question, then proceeding with the next one, etc. ) But apart from that, the talks in my session were really interesting and refreshing, and I learned some new things that I de? nitely have to check out (Yelp, MoveOn, and the Smart Mobs book for instance).
Of course there were also other sessions that I looked forward to. For instance the Tags and Search session, a topic related to what I’m doing and which always contains exciting new work. Furthermore, to my pleasant surprise, a lot of the keynotes/talks were about trust, in all its shapes. In particular, Paul Spirakis’ talk was very interesting because he discussed several ways to measure trust, something I’m working on myself. Through these talks I came across a lot of new pointers, and from Kai Rannenberg I learned that you can do a lot while sitting on the toilet1 .
Furthermore, I really enjoyed the WWW forum (except the long welcome notes in Greek): I already had the opportunity once to hear Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaking, but this time he really captured my attention for the whole duration of the speech: not at all technical, but an agreable talk about the genesis of the Web and it’s future consequences. Finally, overall, attending WebSci was a completely new experience for me, I’ve met a lot of interesting and nice people, the conference was well-organized, the food was delicious, and Athens was beautiful, and the weather too – well, at least most of the time2 . The 2I Japanese Networked Washlet try to forget the fact that I arrived soaking wet at the Theatron the ? rst evening… 1 CONFERENCE TRIP REPORT WebSci’09: Society On-Line March 18 – 11, 2009 At Athens, Greece By Huan WANG Nanyang Technological University To my understanding, this is the first international conference specifically called for web scientists from different disciplines all over the w