WSTNet Labs

Annenberg Network of Networks

The Annenberg Networks Network (ANN) supports a variety of efforts designed to develop social network theory. One key strategy to developing new theory is the exploration of information-based communication networks that are the foundation of a new social form called the network society. Another useful approach takes the form of exploring multiple existing social theories to identify new implications for social networks that accrue from combining multiple theories at multiple levels. A third technique is to apply a theory developed to explain other phenomena to information and communication networks, as in the case of evolutionary theory. ANN also undertakes empirical research projects to test these network theories.

Lab Director: Peter Monge


The Bonn-Aachen International Center for Information Technology offers highly selective International Master Programmes in Applied IT as well as summer/winter schools for qualified computer science students.

Lab director: Professor Dr Stefan Wrobel

Cardiff University

University of Cardiff Computer Science has a well-established interdisciplinary research team working on the scientific investigation of the WWW and the applications it underpins (e.g. social media) from the perspective of computer and social sciences. Substantive research here in Human and Cyber Security is fundamentally theory driven. Published research includes machine classification of cyberhate, suicidal language and social tension, using social theory to derive features for the classifiers. Cardiff have also studied how information propagates on the Web and the linguistic and human actor attributes that support information flow.

Cardiff are also well-known for their social research platform development (the Cardiff Online Social Media Observatory) COSMOS which has been developed by computer scientists, with social scientists, for use by researchers who do not a have a great deal of technical training and expertise. It democratizes access to data and tools so that Web data can be collected, archived, and studied by a broad range of disciplines.

Lab Directors: Peter Burnap and Matt Williams

Data Science Institute at Imperial College

Video contributed by the Data Science Institute at Imperial College, London to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Data Science Institute‘s mission is to provide a focal point for Imperial College’s capabilities in multidisciplinary data-driven research by coordinating data science research for College scientists and partners, alongside educating the next generation of data scientists.

Lab Director: Professor Yi-Ke Guo

Fraunhofer – FOKUS

The Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) offers it’s solutions in seven business units. Three of the seven units address the horizontal issues of digital networking: networks, system quality and visualization. Four of the seven business units are vertically positioned and focus on the design of digital networking in the respective branches: media, general public, mobility and security.

With around 430 employees FOKUS is one of the largest Fraunhofer institutes, and with more than 25 years of experience, FOKUS is one of the most important actors in the ICT research landscape both nationally and worldwide. Market-oriented solutions are being distributed by a total of 11 spin-offs.

Lab Directors: Prof. Manfred Hauswirth

INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique)

INRIA, the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, promotes scientific excellence for technology transfer and society. INRIA’s 2600 employees – graduates from the world’s leading universities – rise to the challenges of digital sciences. With its open, agile model, INRIA is able to explore original approaches with its partners in industry and academic research, providing an effective response to the multidisciplinary and application challenges of digital transformation.
INRIA has actively supported the Web since its beginning, participating in the very first R&D that produced the Web in the early 1990s, and as a founding member of the W3 Consortium (W3C). Many of INRIA’s research teams contribute to computer science domains which are very relevant to the Web’s architecture, including data security and privacy enforcement, distributed and decentralized architectures, programming languages, natural language processing, and formal methods.

Lab Director: Fabien Gandon

IU Network Science Institute

The Network Science Institute (IUNI) enourages multidisciplinary collaborations between researchers at Indiana University to promote and develop innovative research advances in our understanding of networks. IUNI sets out to discover the unique characteristics of complex networks, construct formal mathematical descriptions of their structure and function, and explore their universality, predictive power, and the limits of their applicability.

Lab director: Dr Patricia L. Mabry


Video contributed by WebST at KAIST, South Korea, to the WebScience@10 celebration.
Web Science and Technology (WebST) at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is part of the World Class University program for the future growth of Korea. The WebST division has been established and is financially sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea to develop world-class research and nurture high-quality human resources in IT/software.

WebST is a new emerging discipline that takes the Web as its primary object of study and engineering. Exploring the interactions among the complex technical, engineering, and social aspects of the Web, KAIST’s graduate-level program rests on computing technologies to build and extend the Web, engineering techniques to develop large-scale applications, and analytical methodologies for understanding its nature and impact on various aspects of human society.

Lab Director: Sung-Hyon Myaeng

L3S Research Center

Video contributed by L3S, Hannover, to the WebScience@10 celebration

The L3S is a research center for basic and applied research in the field of Web Science. The L3S researchers develop new, innovative methods and technologies that enable intelligent and seamless access to information on the Web, link individuals and communities in all aspects of the knowledge society – including science and education – and connect the Internet to the real world and its institutions.

The L3S is a research-driven institution that stands out through its significant innovations. Top-class graduate and PhD students and staff members from around the world are attracted to the L3S because of its cutting-edge research culture. For young scientists the L3S offers an encouraging, innovative, international, supportive and independent environment.

Questions that deal comprehensively with the challenges of the field of Web Science Research are addressed in a variety of projects. Since its inception in 2001, the L3S has brought together numerous outstanding scientists from the areas of information retrieval, databases, semantic web, performance modeling, service computing and mobile networks that challenge and actively pursue interdisciplinary research. The total research budget amounts to more than 6 million Euros annually, with a variety of projects in its four working groups, Intelligent Access to Information, Next Generation Internet, E-Science, Web Governance.

Since 2008, the L3S has been involved in numerous EU projects within the 7th Research Programme of the EU, including the ongoing projects Arcomem, Glocal, EveryAware and Linked2Safety. Currently, the L3S coordinates three new EU projects, namely LinkedUp, DuraArk, and ForgetIT. Members of the L3S hold three grants from the European Research Council (ERC), one Advanced Grant (ALEXANDRIA), one Starting Grant (UNIQUE), and one Proof of Concept Grant (IIP).

Lab Director: Wolfgang Nejdl


Based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and is led by Hal Abelson, a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation, and a director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. DIG’s members include leaders in technology and public policy, and is closely coordinated with the activities of the World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards-setting organization for the Web.

DIG explore the consequences of information on the Web: where it comes from, what happens to it, and what are the rules for using it. Research issues include: What do social networks reveal about us? How can linking across scientific databases promote research? What are the policies that determine how government agencies can share data? How can good impacts of information sharing be promoted, while minimizing risks and harmful effects? DIG take the perspective that information on the Web should travel together with additional data that says where the information comes from (provenance and context) and how it should be used (policy). They build tools to help people control the policies governing information, and build automated reasoning systems to help determine whether information use complies with policy.

Lab Director: Professor Hal Abelson

MIT Human Dynamics Lab

The Human Dynamics Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratories pioneered the idea of a society enabled by Big Data. The Lab has developed technologies such as reality mining, which uses mobile phone data to extract patterns that predict future human behavior, a `nervous system’ framework for dramatically more efficient transportation, health, energy, and financial systems, the New Deal on Data policies which are now enshrined in the US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, and a Trust Network communication architecture that ensures that this new data driven society is secure and fair.

Lab Director: Sandy Pentland

NUS-Extreme-Tsinghua (NExT)

Video contributed by NeXT to the WebScience@10 celebration.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is home to a multi-million-dollar joint NUS-Tsinghua Extreme Search Center (NExT) between NUS and Tsinghua University in China to develop technologies for live media search. The project gather, mine, search and organize user-generated contents within the cities of Beijing and Singapore

Lab Director: Professor CHUA Tat Seng

Oxford e-Research Centre

Video contributed by the OERC to the WebScience@10 celebration.
The University of Oxford’s e-Research Centre leads digital research and drives innovation in technology. We connect disciplines, applications and computation to accelerate research and collaboration within the University, nationally and internationally.

The Centre provides a world-leading environment that enables collaborative research, interfacing innovative technologies across academic & commercial partnerships to address the grand challenges of today and the future.

Since its establishment in 2006 the Oxford e-Research Centre has grown to be an internationally prestigious team of over 50 multidisciplinary researchers committed to accelerating research through innovative technology.

The Centre is home to a wide portfolio of research projects in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, technology and research infrastructure development.

We are currently collaborating with over 20 research units across the University, leading a consortium of six University groups through e-Research South and building research collaborations in the USA, Australasia and Europe.

Lab Director: Professor David De Roure

Oxford Internet Institute

Video contributed by the OII, Oxford to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Oxford Internet Institute was founded in 2001 at the University of Oxford, as an academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet.

In the last forty years the Internet has grown from an arcane and specialized academic service to the sophisticated global network of networks we see today: during this period the complexity of its societal implications has become ever more obvious, as well as the many ways it shapes our lives. Grounded in a determination to measure, understand and explain the Internet’s multi-faceted interactions and effects, our research projects bring together some of the best international scholars within a multi-disciplinary department in one of the world’s top research universities. We are committed to being an informed, independent and nonpartisan source of the highest quality analysis and insight in all our research and policy-related activities.

Lab Director: Professor Helen Margetts

SONIC Lab Northwestern University

Video contributed by the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) research group at Northwestern University to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) research group at Northwestern University advances social network theories, methods, and tools to better understand and meet the needs of diverse communities. SONIC develops cutting-edge techniques to study and improve social and knowledge networks in distributed working groups, online communities, virtual teams, and other large communities. Using a comprehensive methodology, SONIC researchers model, assess, validate, and enable the emergence of social and knowledge networks. SONIC helps communities discover their existing communication and knowledge networks, diagnose their network’s health by measuring its robustness, connectedness, bottlenecks, etc., and design the social incentives and technical infrastructure needed for networks to function at optimal effectiveness.

Lab director: Professor Noshir Contractor

Tetherless World Constellation

The Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) explores the research and engineering principles that underlie the Web, to enhance the Web’s reach beyond the desktop and laptop computer, and develops new technologies and languages that expand the capabilities of the Web under three themes: Future Web, Xinformatics and Semantic Foundations.

TWC goals include making the next generation web natural to use while being responsive to the growing variety of policy, educational, societal, and scientific needs. Research areas include: web science, privacy, intellectual property, general compliance, Web-based medical and health systems, semantic escience, data-science, semantic data frameworks, next generation virtual observatories, semantic data and knowledge integration, ontologies, semantic rules and query, semantic applications, data and information visualization, and knowledge provenance, trust and explanation for science

Lab Director: Dr Deborah L. McGuinness

The Network Institute VU

Video contributed by the Web Alliance for Regreening Africa project to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Network Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a collaboration between researchers in Computer Science, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, Economics, Law and Philosophy.

The Network Institute studies the technological, economic, social and communicative aspects of networks. It brings together a unique combination of scientists from informatics, social sciences and humanities. There is new science to explore, in order to understand and deal with our increasingly connected world.

Lab Director: Professor Frank van Harmelen

The Web Science Institute

Video contributed by the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Web Science Institute co-ordinates the Web Science activities across the University of Southampton and kindly hosts the Web Science Trust in the UK

Web Science is the study of the largest information construct on the planet (the Web), the engineering principles of the protocols and software that form it and the impact of universal information provision on society. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to a technical understanding of the construction and analysis of the Web as a distributed global information system and a qualitative examination of the social impact of the Web on human society. Web scientists develop an understanding of the Web’s development and growth, its capacity for furthering global knowledge and communication, and its inherent values of trustworthiness, privacy and respect for social boundaries.

The Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training is hosted by the school and provides funded scholarships for fifty doctoral students in Web Science. It is part of a £250 million investment in the future of UK science and technology by the RCUK Digital Economy programme.

Lab Director: Professor Leslie Carr

Tsinghua-Southampton Web Science Laboratory – Shenzhen

Video contributed by the Tsinghua-Southampton Web Science Laboratory, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, to the WebScience@10 celebration.

Since 2008 the Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University and the University of Southampton have been working together to build the Tsinghua-Southampton Web Science Laboratory. The laboratory aims to develop collaboration between global experts, jointly study the development of Web technology and industry, and build a high level research centre based on the foundation of cooperation between Tsinghua and Southampton.

Lab director: Professor Jianping Wu

WeST Koblenz

Video contributed by WEsT Koblenz to the WebScience@10 celebration.

The Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) at the University of Koblenz, works on issues related to the usage and the technologies of the World Wide Web. Researchers consider the technical aspects of the Web as a global networked information system, and information services, as well as the personal and social aspects of Web use. They aim at understanding the structure and evolution of the Web, in order to make the Web more useful, and to ensure its future success. WeSt researches and develops novel technologies of the Semantic Web, Web Retrieval, Multimedia Web, Interactive Web and the Software Web.

Lab Director: Professor Steffen Staab