Article selection on 30 odd years of Web related research

We would like to present this article selection to celebrate the occasion of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and the recipient of the prestigious  2016 ACM A.M. Turing Award, delivering his Turing Award Lecture at the ACM Web Science Conference on Tuesday 29 May 2018 - made open to the public by the VU and Elsevier.

Considering the global impact of the WWW it’s impossible to highlight it all, and even capturing some of the flavour of the evolution of idea’s over time is beyond the scope of this somewhat random selection. Our main aim is to provide you with an enjoyable read. Something old, something new… something seminal, something fun…

We hope you will find something of your interest below. And wish you happy reading from Elsevier Computer Science.

All articles are freely available online for a year; May 29, 2019.


1977-there were many "internets" before "The internet"
The ARPA network design decisions

John M McQuillan, David C Walden
Computer Networks , Volume 1, Issue 5, August 1977, Pages 243–289

...A number of key decisions made in the design of the ARPA network over a five-year period serve as the context for an analysis of the fundamental properties and requirements of packet-switching networks...

1983 – tying them together with a protocol made one internet to rule them all
The DoD internet architecture model

Vinton G Cerf, Edward Cain
Computer Networks, Volume 7, Issue 5, October 1983, Pages 307-318

...This paper outlines the principles on which the U.S. Department of Defense packet internet architecture is based and characterizes some of the protocols which implement the architecture...

1992 - The WWW emerges
The world-wide web

T.J. Berners-Lee, R. Cailliau and J.-F. Groff
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 25, Issues 4–5, November 1992, Pages 454–459

...This paper describes the World-Wide Web (W3) global information system initiative, its protocols and data formats, and how it is used in practice...

1994 - the first World-Wide Web Conference held in Geneva

Preface to the Special Issue on Selected Papers of the First World-Wide Web Conference

Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 27, Issue 2, November 1994

The First International Conference on the World-Wide Web has turned out to be far more popular than anticipated; we thank again all the people who made "the Web" into the global success it now is. The simplicity of the original design and the extreme ease with which users can navigate the information ocean rest on many abstractions and implementations. Many of the presentations at the Conference showed clearly that there is a rich world of theoretical and practical aspects to a global information infrastructure. The Web will continue to stimulate research and development in many areas of networking and computing.

I have seen many interesting applications of the Web, and many interesting pieces of software; some developed with very little effort, some after considerable investment. There is a garden of green plants out there, growing very fast! We should take care it develops into a garden of strong trees and flowers, not a field full of weeds. Let US make efforts to keep the underlying ideas simple and powerful, avoid quick fixes and go for the real stuff. The Web has also shown that there are very important social and cultural issues; we have only begun to scratch the surface of these new ways of living. Surely we must now take great care that we choose the right roads to travel. This responsibility rests now on all who from now on develop the Web.

After the Conference a selection has been made for a Special Issue of Computer Networks and ISDN Systems. The goal of the special issue is to announce this new and interesting technology that is so rapidly evolving. The Committee believes this selection of papers enables new possibilities for exploitation of the Internet, and also poses a large variety of interesting problems and issues.

The eighteen papers that were finally selected give a good overview and impression of the potential of the WWW-technology, and indicate what the directions are. All papers have been reviewed and most have been further improved by revisions. The Special Issue also contains 10 Workshop Reports and all abstracts of the remaining presentations.

I would further like to thank the Refereeing Committee for their excellent job:

Tim Berners -Lee
Per Einar Dybvik
Wendy Hall
Detlef Krömker
Jean-Yves le Meur
Oscar Nierstrasz
R.P.C. Rodgers
Robert Cailliau

The Second International World-Wide Web Conference was held the same year in Chicago

Guest editorial : Selected Papers from the Second World-Wide Web Conference

Ira Goldstein, Joseph Hardin
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 28, Issues 1–2, December 1995

On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, we are pleased to offer this compilation of the best papers from the diverse areas of interest presented at The Second International World-Wide Web Conference: Mosaic and the Web in Chicago, Illinois, on October 17-20, 1994.

As was the case with the First International Conference held at CERN, the overwhelming success of this conference was due to the world-wide participation and interest in a new method of communication. The exchange of ideas, the enthusiasm and the energy generated at this conference were catalysts which encouraged new perspectives, new applications, the pursuit of standards and provided the encouragement to continue to improve upon current tools and processes. We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of the Web and is continuing to build it.

There is plenty of hyperbole in hyperspace, but it is not an exaggeration to say that we are all taking part in an historic process. We are engaged in a collective global project that will affect everyone on the planet and that keeps growing at phenomenal rates. The purpose of this conference was to provide a place where users and developers, the experienced and the novice, could all come together, exchange ideas, and particiate in the excitement of these new technologies. This issue of conference papers is another way to share in that excitement, knowledge, and experience.

The authors whose works are contained herein represent diversity which reflects the richness of the community that is producing the new global information infrastructure and populating it with content. The International World-Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2) holds the belief that openness and commitment to truly global perspectives are some of the fundamental strengths of the Web community. The Web has always been intended to be an open space where people could come together, to work, play or converse. Hopefully, this issue will contribute to that goal.

Conference organizing Committee

Joseph Hardin, NCSA/UIUC, Co- chair
Ira Goldstein, OSFRI, Co-chair
Tim Berners-Lee, MIT/CERN
Larry Brand& NSF
Robert Cailliau, CERN
Jim Fullton, CNIDR
Tim Rrauskopf, Spyglass Inc.
Ed Krol, uIuc/ccso
Yasuyo Kikuta, Fujitsu
Barbara Kucera, NCSA/UIUC
Corinne Moore, UniForum
R.P.C. "Rick" Rodgers, NLM
Michael Schwartz, U of Colorado
Yuri Rubinsky, SoftQuad
Tony Rutkowski, Internet Society
Jackie Stewart, OSFRI
Marty Tenenbaum, EIT
Janet Thot-Thompson, NRC

Some papers showing the WWW expanding into every endeavor and foreshadowing the future

PDAs as mobile WWW browsers

Stefan Gessler, Andreas Kotulla
Volume 28, Issues 1–2, December 1995, Pages 53–59

...We present a WWW frontend for Apple's Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Newton"…."PDAs are the pinnacle of modern computer and communication technology and supposed to be in everybody's possession in a few years. These hand-held systems offer wireless communication and advanced integration: You can carry computer and communication services in your pocket...

An architecture for scholarly publishing on the World Wide Web

Stuart Weibel, Eric Miller, Jean Godby, Ralph LeVan
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 28, Issues 1–2, December 1995, Pages 239-245

...OCLC distributes several scholarly journals under its Electronic Journals Online program, acting, in effect, as an "electronic printer" for scholarly publishers. As part of this effort, OCLC is prototyping a WWW-accessible version of these journals...

1995 was "Back to the future" – again

Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing

Thomas R. Gruber
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 43, Issues 5–6, November 1995, Pages 907–928

...We describe the role of ontologies in supporting knowledge sharing activities, and then present a set of criteria to guide the development of ontologies for these purposes...

1996 and beyond sees the WWW phenomenon studied from multiple angles

Measuring the Web

Tim Bray
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 28, Issues 7–11, May 1996, Pages 993–1005

...This paper presents some difficult qualitative questions concerning the Web, and attempts to provide some partial quantitative answers to them...

Business use of the world-wide web

C. Cockburn, T.D. Wilson
International Journal of Information Management, Volume 16, Issue 2, April 1996, Pages 83–102

...The major problems holding back further development were said to be...

Use of the World Wide Web in the 1996 US election

Dave D'Alessio
Electoral Studies Volume 16, Issue 4, December 1997, Pages 489–500

...The role of the World Wide Web in the 1996 US election was analyzed from three perspectives: receiver, source, and effects...

1998 - new web native corporations emerge

The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual Web search engine

Sergey Brin, Lawrence Page
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Volume 30, Issues 1–7, April 1998, Pages 107–117

...In this paper, we present Google, a prototype of a large-scale search engine which makes heavy use of the structure present in hypertext. Google is designed to crawl and index the Web efficiently and produce much more satisfying search results than existing systems. The prototype with a full text and hyperlink database of at least 24 million pages is available at...

As research continues

Knowledge engineering: Principles and methods

Rudi Studer, V.Richard Benjamins, Dieter Fensel
Data & Knowledge Engineering , Volume 25, Issues 1–2, March 1998, Pages 161–197

…discuss the paradigm shift from a transfer view to a modeling view and describe two approaches which considerably shaped research in Knowledge Engineering…

2000 and beyond shows more research is needed 
Graph structure in the Web

Andrei Broder, Ravi Kumar , Farzin Maghoul, Prabhakar Raghavan, Sridhar Rajagopalan, Raymie Stata, Andrew Tomkins, Janet Wiener
Computer Networks, Volume 33, Issues 1–6, June 2000, Pages 309–320

The study of the Web as a graph is not only fascinating in its own right, but also yields valuable insight into Web algorithms for crawling, searching and community discovery, and the sociological phenomena which characterize its evolution"….

2000  brings Artificial Intelligence to the web
Learning to construct knowledge bases from the World Wide Web

Mark Craven, Dan DiPasquo , Dayne Freitag, Andrew McCalluma, Tom Mitchell , Kamal Nigam, Seán Slattery
Artificial Intelligence, Volume 118, Issues 1–2, April 2000, Pages 69–113

...The World Wide Web is a vast source of information accessible to computers, but understandable only to humans. The goal of the research described here is to automatically create a computer understandable knowledge base whose content mirrors that of the World Wide Web...

2001 shows one can have too much of a good thing
A cognitive-behavioral model of pathological Internet use

R.A. Davis
Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 17, Issue 2, 1 March 2001, Pages 187–195

This article introduces a cognitive-behavioral model of Pathological Internet Use (PIU) ...

2002 sees the Internet of things emerging
Wireless sensor networks: a survey

I.F. Akyildiz , W. Su, Y. Sankarasubramaniam , E. Cayirci
Computer Networks, Volume 38, Issue 4, 15 March 2002, Pages 393–422

...This paper describes the concept of sensor networks which has been made viable by the convergence of micro-electro-mechanical systems technology, wireless communications and digital electronic...

2003 new standards for Artificial Intelligence on the web are formulated
From SHIQ and RDF to OWL: the making of a Web Ontology Language

Ian Horrocks, Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Frank van Harmelen
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web , Volume 1, Issue 1, December 2003, Pages 7–26

The OWL Web Ontology Language is a new formal language for representing ontologies in the Semantic Web...

2005 has Artificial Intelligence "reading" the web
Unsupervised named-entity extraction from the Web: An experimental study

Oren Etzioni, Michael Cafarella, Doug Downey, Ana-Maria Popescu, Tal Shaked, Stephen Soderland, Daniel S. Weld, Alexander Yates
Artificial Intelligence, Volume 165, Issue 1, June 2005, Pages 91–134

The KnowItAll system aims to automate the tedious process of extracting large collections of facts (e.g., names of scientists or politicians) from the Web in an unsupervised, domain-independent, and scalable manner...

2005  a familiar discussion
How the cookies (almost) crumbled: Privacy & lobbyism

Sylvia Mercado Kierkegaard
Computer Law & Security Review, Volume 21, Issue 4, 2005, Pages 310–322

...Privacy law, in particular, has had difficulty keeping pace with advances in technology...

2006 sees more advances in Knowledge management
Semantic annotation for knowledge management: Requirements and a survey of the state of the art

Victoria Uren, Philipp Cimiano , José Iria , Siegfried Handschuh , Maria Vargas-Vera , Enrico Motta , Fabio Ciravegna
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 14–28

...we examine semantic annotation, identify a number of requirements, and review the current generation of semantic annotation systems...

Ontologies are us: A unified model of social networks and semantics

Peter Mika
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2007, Pages 5–15

...the traditional bipartite model of ontologies is extended with the social dimension, leading to a tripartite model of actors, concepts and instances...

OWL 2: The next step for OWL

Bernardo Cuenca Graua, Ian Horrocks, Boris Motik, Bijan Parsia, Peter Patel-Schneider, Ulrike Sattler
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 6, Issue 4, November 2008, Pages 309–322

...we present an overview of OWL 2—an extension to and revision of OWL that is currently being developed within the W3C OWL Working Group...

Cloud computing and emerging IT platforms: Vision, hype, and reality for delivering computing as the 5th utility

Rajkumar Buyya, Chee Shin Yeo, Srikumar Venugopal , James Broberg, Ivona Brandic
Future Generation Computer Systems, Volume 25, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 599–616

...there is an increasingly perceived vision that computing will one day be the 5th utility (after water, electricity, gas, and telephony)...

2009 Linked Open Data connects knowledgebases across the web
DBpedia - A crystallization point for the Web of Data

Christian Bizer , Jens Lehmann, Georgi Kobilarov , Sören Auer , Christian Becker, Richard Cyganiak, Sebastian Hellmann
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2009, Pages 154–165

The DBpedia project is a community effort to extract structured information from Wikipedia and to make this information accessible on the Web...

2010 formulates research questions into Cyber/ Social systems
From the Semantic Web to social machines: A research challenge for AI on the World Wide Web

Jim Hendler, Tim Berners-Lee
Artificial Intelligence, Volume 174, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 156–161

...We argue that we are just at the beginning of this age of "social machines" and that their continued evolution and growth requires the cooperation of Web and AI researchers...

2011 machines continue to become better at various things, and will soon beat the human world champion at GO
Monte-Carlo tree search and rapid action value estimation in computer Go

Sylvain Gelly, David Silver
Artificial Intelligence, Volume 175, Issue 11, July 2011, Pages 1856–1875

...In this article we describe two extensions to the Monte-Carlo tree search algorithm, which significantly improve the effectiveness of the basic algorithm. When we applied these two extensions to the Go program MoGo, it became the first program to achieve dan (master) level in 9×9 Go...

2011 sees new ideas to connect the world
The Web of Voices: how to connect 4.5 billion internet-less people to the Web

Chris van Aart, Anna Bon, Hans Akkermans, Victor de Boer, Stephane Boyera, Wendelien Tuyp, Nana Baah Gyan
Outrageous Ideas, International Semantic Web Conference 2011 (ISWC 2011).

…A lot of internet-less people live in developing countries where local conditions pose enormous challenges on the design of new interfaces to the Web. We envision the Web of Voices as primary interface to knowledge on the Web. Enabling mobile voice dialogues with knowledge on the Web raises a number of interesting research challenges…

2012 provides a technical view of the web of things
The SSN ontology of the W3C semantic sensor network incubator group

Michael Compton , Payam Barnaghi, Luis Bermudez ,Raúl García-Castro, Oscar Corcho, Simon Cox , John Graybeal, Manfred Hauswirth, Cory Henson, Arthur Herzog, Vincent Huang, Krzysztof Janowicz, W. David Kelsey, Danh Le Phuoc, Laurent Lefort, Myriam Leggieri , Holger Neuhaus, Andriy Nikolov, Kevin Page, Alexandre Passant, Amit Sheth, Kerry Taylor
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 17, December 2012, Pages 25–32

The W3C Semantic Sensor Network Incubator group (the SSN-XG) produced an OWL 2 ontology to describe sensors and observations...

2012 also gives us a more holistic research view of the web
Web evolution and Web Science

Wendy Hall, Thanassis Tiropanis
Computer Networks Volume 56, Issue 18, 17 December 2012, Pages 3859-3865

…. the emergence of Web Science as an interdisciplinary area that can provide us with insights on how the Web developed, and how it has affected and is affected by society…

2013 more advanced tools continue to connect knowledge across the web
An open-source toolkit for mining Wikipedia

David Milne, Ian H. Witten
Artificial Intelligence Volume 194, January 2013, Pages 222–239

...This paper introduces the Wikipedia Miner toolkit, an open-source software system that allows researchers and developers to integrate Wikipediaʼs rich semantics into their own applications...

2014 ever more personalisation makes your web experience different from my web experience  
Recommender systems survey

J. Bobadilla, F. Ortega, A. Hernando, A. Gutiérrez
Knowledge-Based Systems, Volume 46, July 2013, Pages 109–132

...Recommender systems have developed in parallel with the web. They were initially based on demographic, content-based and collaborative filtering. Currently, these systems are incorporating social information. In the future, they will use implicit, local and personal information from the Internet of things...

2015  developments in AI & machine learning allow machines  to "see" your pictures
Deep learning in neural networks: An overview

Jürgen Schmidhuber
Neural Networks, Volume 61, January 2015, Pages 85–117

In recent years, deep artificial neural networks (including recurrent ones) have won numerous contests in pattern recognition and machine learning. This historical survey compactly summarizes relevant work, much of it from the previous millennium...

2016 more technologies converge
Semantic Web in data mining and knowledge discovery: A comprehensive survey

Petar Ristoski, Heiko Paulheim
Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, Volume 36, January 2016, Pages 1–22

...As an example, we show how Linked Open Data can be used at various stages for building content-based recommender systems...

2017 – different users have different search and discovery needs
Investigating queries and search failures in academic search

Bob J.A.Schijvenaars Maarten de Rijke
Information Processing & Management,  Volume 53, Issue 3, May 2017, Pages 666-683

...Personalization yields very little further improvements over session-conditional query suggestions…

We hope you enjoyed reading this selection. It is estonishing to consider that in this year, 2018, for the first time in human history more than half the population on this planet will be online. To quote Sir Tim Bermers-Lee's himself:

This year marks a milestone in the web's history: for the first time, we will cross the tipping point when more than half of the world's population will be online. When I share this exciting news with people, I tend to get one of two concerned reactions:

How do we get the other half of the world connected?

Are we sure the rest of the world wants to connect to the web we have today?