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Introduction to Web Science


  • Lectures start from October 22, 2018


Assignments Date Submission Solution
Assignment 1 24-Oct-18 31-Oct-18  
Assignment 2 31-Oct-18 07-Nov-18  
Assignment 3 7-Nov-18 14-Nov-18  
Assignment 4 14-Nov-18 21-Nov-18  
Assignment 5 21-Nov-18 28-Nov-18  
Assignment 6 28-Nov-18 05-Dec-18  
Assignment 7 5-Dec-18 12-Dec-18  
Assignment 8 12-Dec-18 19-Dec-18  
Assignment 9 19-Dec-18 09-Jan-19  
Assignment 10 9-Jan-19 16-Jan-19  
Assignment 11 16-Jan-19 23-Jan-19  



Week Date Topic Subtopics
1. 22-Oct-2018 Introductory Session
  • Understanding Flipped Classroom
22-Oct-2018 Ethernet
  • Communication over shared medium
  • Ethernet Header
  • Minimum Package Length vs. Cable Length
  • Collision Detection
23-Oct-2018 Internet Protocol
  • Motivation for IP
  • Classful IPv4
  • IP forwarding algorithm
  • IP header
2. 29-Oct-2018 TCP
  • End to End Principle and Connection-Oriented Communication
  • Threeway Handshake
  • Port Numbers
  • Sliding Window Protocol
30-Oct-2018 DNS
  • Tree Structure
  • Terminology
  • Zones
  • Review facts about DNS
  • Delegating DNS Query
  • DNS Address Resolution
3. 5-Nov-2018 Internet vs WWW
  • Summary of Internet architecture
  • Motivation and requirement for WWW
  • Design Principles of WWW
  • Uniform Resource Identifier
6-Nov-2018 HTTP
  • Making HTTP Requests
  • A simple Web Client
  • HTTP Header
  • Content Negotiation
4. 12-Nov-2018 Web Content
  • Problem setting for web content formats
  • Working with XML
  • HTML for web document structures
  • Layout elements in HTML
  • Motivation for separation of content and layout
  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • Media Content
  • Meta Data
13-Nov-2018 Dynamic Web Content
  • Basic Server-side Web Programming
  • Forms and HTTP Post request
  • Handling a post request in Java Servlet
  • Client-side JavaScript
  • Ajax and XML HTTP Request
5. 19-Nov-2018 How big is the web
  • Problems with the question of the size of the web
  • 3 ways to study the Web
  • A simplistic Descriptive Model
  • An unrealistic simplistic descriptive model
20-Nov-2018 Descriptive Models
  • Counting words and Documents
  • Typical Length of the Document
  • How to formulate a research hypothesis
  • Number of words needed to understand Simple English Wikipedia
  • Linguistic way of checking simplicity of Text
6. 26-Nov-2018 Advanced Statistical Models
  • Zipf's Law for Text
  • Visually straight lines on Log-log plot
  • Fitting a curve on a log-log plot
  • Zipf's law, Power Law and Pareto Law
27-Nov-2018 Modelling Similarity
  • Similarity Measures and their applications
  • Jaccard Similarity for Sets
  • Cosine similarity for texts
  • Cosine similarity for vector space
  • Probabilistic Similarity Measure - Kulback Leibler Divergence
  • Comparing results of Similarity
7. 3-Dec-2018 Generative Modelling of Web
  • Introduction to Generative Modelling
  • Sampling form Probability Distribution
  • Evaluating a generative model
  • Pitfalls when increasing number of model parameters
4-Dec-2018 Graph Theoretic Web Modelling
  • Reviewing terms from Graph Theory
  • The standard web graph model
  • Descriptive statistics of the web graph
  • Topology of Web Graph
  • Modelling Graphs with Linear Algebra
8. 10-Dec-2018 Meme Spreading I    
11-Dec-2018 Meme Spreading II    
9. 17-Dec-2018 Herding Behaviour I    
18-Dec-2018 Herding Behaviour II    
10. 7-Jan-2019 Online Advertising
  • Introduction to online advertising
  • Metrics of Oline Advertisement
  • Factors impact on Advertising
  • Understanding problems with Click Fraud
8-Jan-2019 User Modelling I    
11. 14-Jan-2019 User Modelling II    
15-Jan-2019 Copyright    
12. 21-Jan-2019 Net Neutrality    
22-Jan-2019 DEMO EXAM
25-Jan-2019 Solution Discussion
13. 28-Jan-2019 Misinformation I    
29-Jan-2019 Misinformation II    

Study Materials

Further Material

Important Information


In order to obtain ECTS-Credits, you need to both gain admission to the exam and you need to pass the exam. The exam is passed if you obtain a score of at least 50% in it. 


You are expected to hand in all the assignments in due time, every week on Wednesday at 11:00 am. The assignments must be done by everyone in the group.  The assignments should be handed in a pdf format with all valid source code and graphs if necessary. Assignments will be treated in-complete if any part of the solution is missing. Students need to accomplish at least 60% of the total scores in assignments in order to attend the final exam. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden and will result in disqualification from the final exam, of both sides of the plagiarism (copying and being copied). Students are also expected to explain some of the assignments in the tutorial sessions.


The SVN repository to submit your assignments is:
Replace GROUPNAME with your group name in lower case letters. ( Example: )
Please remember to have your assignments in different folders under "solutions".

Last Year Students 

Students who failed to secure passing grades last year can directly appear for the examinations this year. However, it is advisable to participate in the course and the tutorials. 

Team Formation

For assignments, you have to make a group of 2-3 be in a team. To create your teams, you can click here

Organizational Information

Flipped Classroom Session
Monday 14:00 - 16:00 hrs G - 310
Tuesday 12:00 - 14:00 hrs K - 101


Tutorial Session
Friday 12:00 - 14:00 hrs F - 414

Prof. Dr. Steffen Staab

Jun Sun

Korok Sengupta