Institute for Web Science and Technologies · Universität Koblenz - Landau
Institute WeST
This course is from a past or future semester. If you are looking for current courses, go to the course overview.

Introduction to Web Science

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Winter Term 2019 / 2020


  • Due to the current situation and the regulations imposed on us by the president's office that non-essential events are to be canceled for the foreseeable future, there will be no opportunity for reviewing the previous exam. We know that this is not perfect, but we all have to compromise in these difficult times. Therefore, please refrain from inquiring about reviewing possibilities, we cannot make this happen at the moment.
  • Final Examination: 27/02/2020 ; Room : D028
  • Re-Examination: August 13, 2020; Room : D028 and E011; Time: 16:00-17:30 (Registration starts from June 15)
  • Retracted Solution for First Exam


Assignment Date Submission Tutorial
28-Oct-2019 04-Nov-2019 08-Nov-2019
04-Nov-2019 11-Nov-2019 15-Nov-2019
11-Nov-2019 18-Nov-2019 22-Nov-2019
18-Nov-2019 25-Nov-2019 29-Nov-2019
25-Nov-2019 02-Dec-2019 06-Dec-2019
02-Dec-2019 09-Dec-2019 13-Dec-2019
09-Dec-2019 16-Dec-2019 20-Dec-2019
16-Dec-2019 06-Jan-2020 10-Jan-2020
13-Jan-2020 21-Jan-2020 24-Jan-2020


Week Date Topic Subtopics
0. 21-Oct-2019
Introductory Session
  • Understanding Flipped Classroom: PPTX, PDF
  • Survey of Web Science: PPTX, PDF
1. 28-Oct-2019 Ethernet
  • Communication over shared medium
  • Ethernet Header
  • Minimum Package Length vs. Cable Length
  • Collision Detection
29-Oct-2019 Internet Protocol
  • Motivation for IP
  • Classful IPv4
  • IP forwarding algorithm
  • IP header
2. 04-Nov-2019 TCP

Extensions and Corrections: PPTX, PDF

  • End to End Principle and Connection-Oriented Communication
  • Threeway Handshake
  • Port Numbers
  • Sliding Window Protocol
05-Nov-2019 DNS
  • Tree Structure
  • Terminology
  • Zones
  • Review facts about DNS
  • Delegating DNS Query
  • DNS Address Resolution
3. 11-Nov-2019 Internet vs WWW
  • Summary of Internet architecture
  • Motivation and requirement for WWW
  • Design Principles of WWW
  • Uniform Resource Identifier
12-Nov-2019 HTTP
  • Making HTTP Requests
  • A simple Web Client
  • HTTP Header
  • Content Negotiation
4. 18-Nov-2019 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
19-Nov-2019 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. 25-Nov-2019 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
26-Nov-2019 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. 02-Dec-2019 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
03-Dec-2019 Modeling 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. 19-Dec-2019 Generative Modelling of Web
  • Introduction to Generative Modelling
  • Sampling form Probability Distribution
  • Evaluating a generative model
  • Pitfalls when increasing the number of model parameters
10-Dec-2019 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. 16-Dec-2019 Meme Spreading  PPT
17-Dec-2019 Meme Spreading (cont.)
9. 06-Jan-2020 Demo Exam
07-Jan-2020 Herding Behaviour PPT
10. 13-Jan-2020 Socio-economical Aspects of Web PPTX
14-Jan-2020 User Modelling PPTX
21-Jan-2020 User Modelling (cont.) PPTX
27-Jan-2020 Online Advertisement 
Copyright PPTX
03-Feb-2020 Misinformation I
13. 04-Feb-2020 Misinformation II
14. 10-Feb-2020 10 Years of Web Science
11-Feb-2020 Social Science in Web Science

Study 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 Monday 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 previously failed the exam of "Introduction to Web Science" can directly appear for the examination this semester (actually they are obliged to participate in the exam). However, it is advisable to participate in the course and the tutorials.
Students who have mastered assignments such that they gained admission to participate in last year's exam, but did not register for last year's exam, have to earn admission anew.

Team Formation

For assignments, you have to make a group of 2-3 be in a team. To create your teams, you can click TEAMS link.
Since many have not received their university credentials, please form your teams here


Questions for Discussion : here

Organizational Information

Classroom Sessions
Monday 14:00-16:00 G-310
Tuesday 12:00-14:00 K-101
Tutorial Sessions
Friday 12:00-14:00 F-413