Category Archives: WSTNet News

ACM Hypertext 2016

Charlie Hargood with ACMHT'16 Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016
Charlie Hargood with Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016

Here at WST HQ in Southampton we’ve been following events at Hypertext 2016 in Halifax, Canada over the past few days. It was a brilliant conference for our WSTNet colleagues in from the University of Southampton – with Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard picking up the Douglas Engelbart Best Paper Award. Their paper, co-authored with Verity Hunt and Mark Weal, focusses on location aware hypertext – an emerging form of digital storytelling. 

Hossein Derakhshan UMAP’16 Keynote/David Millard ©2016

On the final day HT’16 linked with UMAP’16 and included a riveting keynote from ‘the blog father’ Hossein Derakhshan.

To get a flavour of the conference see: “ACM Hypertext 2016” on Storify, and conference proceedings.

Web Science Summer School 2016

Web Science Summer School
On the beach at WWSSS16/ Steffen Staab ©2016

This years’ Web Science Summer School featured keynotes from WST chair, Jim Hendler, and board member, Noshir Contractor. Hosted by the Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, the School ran between 30 June and 6 July. A range of tutorials and project work covering Computational Social Science, Social Machines, Politics, Entrepreneurship, and Law were run for the 20+ participants.

To get a taste of the Summer School, see “Web Science Summer School 2016” on Storify, and presentation slides.

Saving the Web Symposium

Putting Data to Work Panel
Putting Data to Work Panel/Wendy Hall ©2016

Co-sponsored by WST, and hosted by our managing director, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, the “Saving the Web” symposium held yesterday at the John W Kluge Center, Washington, provided a great opportunity for Web scientists to share knowledge on preserving the ephemeral Web. The symposium featured contributions from TCP/IP co-inventor and Google Internet Evangelist, Vin Cerf, Web archivists, Abbie Grotke (Library of Congress), and Jefferson Bailey (Internet Archive), WST chair, James Hendler, and many other speakers.

Professor Hall took up the post of Kluge Chair in Technology & Society in March this year, and the Symposium, together with its associated Datathon (Archives Unleashed), marked the culmination of her 3-month tenure.

To get a taste of the Symposium, and outputs from the Datathon, view “Save the Web Symposium” on Storify.

Jim Hendler’s Keynote at ESWC 2016

Jim Hendler at ESWC 2016/ John Dominique ©2016/cc by
Jim Hendler at ESWC 2016/ John Dominique ©2016/cc by

WST Chair, and Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences, Jim Hendler gave the keynote address at the European Semantic Web Conference 2016 in Heraklion, Crete this morning. In his talk, W(h)ither OWL in a Linked Data, Knowledge Graphed World?, Professor Hendler discussed the limitations of Web Ontology Language (OWL), a Semantic Web logic-based language that is used to represent relations between things. His talk focused on how and why the adoption OWL has failed to live up to expectations, and the possible futures of knowledge description on the Web.

See “Jim Hendler’s Keynote at ESWC 2016” on Storify.

Web Science Conference 2016

10 Years of Web Science Panel/Nick Bennett ©2016/ cc by-nd
10 Years of Web Science Panel/Nick Bennett ©2016/ cc by-nd
The 8th International ACM Web Science Conference, held this week in Hannover, Germany was one of the busiest in the conference’s history. Organised by the L3S Research Center, the 4 day conference comprised 3 panel sessions4 workshops5 tutorials, 6 keynotes9 paper presentation sessions, a hackathon, and an Entrepreneurship Track. To get a taste of the diversity of work shown at the conference, view “Web Science Conference 2016” on Storify.
To find out more about the academic discipline of Web Science, download our brochure, “Celebrating 10 years of Web Science“.

WSTNet Lab Directors Meet at WebSci16

WSTNet Lab Directors Meeting, Hannover, 22 May 2016.
WSTNet Lab Directors Meeting, Hannover, 22 May 2016

WSTNet Lab Directors got together at the start of the Web Science Conference this week in Hannover, Germany. Highlights of the meeting include the election of Steffen Staab as Chair and Pete Burnap as Vice-Chair, planning for this years’ Web Science Summer School at University of Koblenz (30 June to 6 July – ), and firming up of arrangements for World Wide Web Week – a global event celebrating 10 years of Web Science to be held later this year.

Who’s who in the photo (from left to right): Thanassis Tiropanis (WSI), Manfred Hauswirth (FOKUS), Steffan Staab (Institute WeST), Noshir Contractor (SONIC), Sung-Hyon Myaeng (KAIST), Les Carr (WSI), John Erickson (RPI), Susan Davies (WST), Hans Akkermans (VU Amsterdam), Dave De Roure (Oxford e-Research), Anni Rowland-Campbell (Intersticia), Pete Burnap (Cardiff University), and Wolfgang Nejdl, (L3S).

WebSci’16 Conference Programme

WebSci16 logoThe programme for WebSci’16 (the 8th International ACM Web Science Conference) has been announced. Held between 22 – 25 May, 2016 in Hannover, Germany and organised by L3S Research Center, WebSci’16 includes keynote addresses from Professor Daniel Miller (Digital Anthropology, University College London), Dr Andrew Tomkins, (Engineering Director, Google Research), Dr Daniel Olmedilla, (Engineering Manager, Facebook), and Professor Helen Margetts (Director of the Oxford Internet Institute). There’s a great range of papers for presentation, covering topics including citizen science, online journalism, internet governance, data sharing, and music recommender systems. Registration is currently open, and accommodation discounts are available for delegates.

WebSci’16 Keynotes: Daniel Miller, Helen Margetts, Andrew Tomkins, and Daniel Olmedilla.WebSci’16 Keynotes: Daniel Miller, Helen Margetts, Andrew Tomkins, and Daniel Olmedilla.

The Science of Magic

Troy, N.Y. – An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is collaborating with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc., part of the theme park design and development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Together, they are exploring how the cognitive computing technology being developed at Rensselaer can help enhance the experience of visitors to Disney theme parks, cruise ships and other venues.

Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. and Rensselaer researchers are exploring a range of cognitive computing technologies. These include information extraction techniques to help computers better understand words written or spoken by a human, as well as agent-based techniques for investigating how computers and humans can engage in more natural conversations.

“Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is part of the creative force behind the iconic Disney attractions and experiences and is on the forefront of natural interactive character-based experience technologies. Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. has a rich history of creating, developing and bringing to life ground breaking technologies in the field of Audio-Animatronics® Figures. Rensselaer is a world-class research university and a leading force in computational science and engineering, including in the emerging field of cognitive computing. The possibilities of what we can accomplish together are endless,” said Jonathan Dordick, vice president for research at Rensselaer.

“Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is excited to partner with Rensselaer, a recognized leader in knowledge extraction and natural language understanding. We believe Rensselaer’s world class text and language processing tools, in conjunction with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc.’s cutting edge autonomous character platforms, will enable a new class of Guest/character experiences,” said Jonathan Snoddy, R&D Studio Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc.

Leading the project for Rensselaer is James Hendler, Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professor and director of The Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA). An expert in web science, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, Hendler said the collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. is an important step forward for all of the data-related research taking place as part of The Rensselaer IDEA. Rensselaer faculty members Mei Si, assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive Science, and Heng Ji, the Edward P. Hamilton Development Chair and associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, will collaborate with Hendler on the project.

“Unstructured data, that is the information inherent in written texts and spoken dialog, is an increasingly important part of the Big Data landscape,” Hendler said. “Our goal in this project is to work with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc. to transform the leading-edge tools and techniques into fully developed applications that will help make the Disney experience even more enjoyable for people and families around the world. We look forward to an incredible collaboration with Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, Inc.”

Contact: David Brond, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Office: (518) 276-2800

– See more at:

WebSci 2015 deadlines

Workshop proposals deadline is 27th February
One month to the Papers and Posters deadline on 20th March.
See for both calls.

ACM Web Science 2015

28 June to 1 July 2015
University of Oxford, UK

Call for Workshops

The workshops offer organisers the opportunity to curate panels, or collaborative research and scholarship activities around a key Web Science theme and to explore this in depth. Workshops may be proposed on any theme that facilitates interdisciplinary discussion of the Web and approaches to Web Science research. We particularly welcome applications that are ambitious in scope and aim to address the pressing challenges of Web Science. This might include, but is not restricted to:

* Theorising the Web
* Data ownership, access and ethics
* Digital cultures
* Digital inequality, citizenship and governance
* The future of the Web

Workshops can have a mixture of panel presentations and invited speakers, but presentations should reflect the diversity of approaches that characterise the multidisciplinary nature of Web Science.

Workshop submission

Workshop proposals should contain the following information:

1. Title summarising the tutorial goals or workshop theme.
2. Details of the organising committee, including names and
Institutional affiliations.
3. Max two-page description about the relevance, motivation and goals
Of the tutorial or workshop.
4. Schedule of sessions, panels, and talks (half day 14:00-17:00).
5. Names of instructors and potential invited speakers.
6. For workshops, selection criteria for papers to be presented.
7. Workshop website URL (desirable).

For WebSci15 the workshops will be integrated into the main conference programme, running in the afternoons of June 30 and July 1.

It is the prerogative of organisers to decide whether to have an open call for participants and papers, or arrange panels by invitation only.
Proposals should include as many details as possible about sessions, speakers, and talks: they will be evaluated by their coherence and ability to address the stated goals.

It is the responsibility of organisers to advertise their event, and constitute a program committee to review and select papers, manage The review process, and possibly arrange for selected papers to be Published in a special issue of a to-be-identified journal.

If successful, we advise proposals to have a website describing the event (within two weeks of acceptance) and, if applicable, information about similar events held in the past. Workshops will be linked from the main conference site.

Proposals should be submitted in pdf format through Easychair to:

Workshop proposal review

The Web Science programme chairs will review each submission and select those with the higher scores on originality, timeliness and relevance Of the proposed topic, its interdisciplinarity, rigour of the review process, coherence with the conference aims, and potential to attract A large audience.

Workshop proposal deadlines

Feb 27, 2015 – Workshop proposal submissions
March 6, 2015 – Notification of workshop acceptance
March 13, 2015 – Workshop website due

IIIT-Bangalore hosts India’s first Web Observatory

India’s first web observatory was launched at the International Institute of Information Technology–Bangalore on Tuesday.

The observatory was launched by Prof S Sadagopan and Prof Dame Wendy Hall at a workshop on web science attended by scientists from India and the United Kingdom, jointly organised by IIIT-Bangalore and the British High Commission.

Sadagopan stressed the growing importance of research in web science and noted that the web, be it in business, governance or in personal life, has had a major role to play. He termed web science a game-changer for a growing economy like India.

Prof Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, the UK, said, “The web has changed lives irrevocably and the observatory is crucial in providing the data and data analytics to support evidence-based policy making and business intelligence in the future. It is great to see the development of the observatory at IIIT-B as the first step of the evolution of network of web observatories in India.”

Analytics platform  
The web observatory provides a global, distributed analytics platform that not only provides access to datasets of various sizes but also helps analyse the web.

It has been set up in partnership with the Web Science Trust, the University of Southampton and other global web science laboratories.

The web observatory is planned to be a worldwide grid hosting datasets relevant to web science research. IIIT-B will host the first such node of the grid in India which will be managed by the Web Sciences Lab.

Similar web observatories exist in European, Southeast Asian and American universities.

 Article from the Deccan Herald