CS 4803 - WWW: Science, Technology and Applications

Fall 2008


In the last ten years, the WWW has changed people's everyday experience, the access and generation of information, the way we organize our society, several fundamental business models, as well as several fundamental computational models. This course is intended to give a wide computer science perspective of fundamental science principles, technologies and applications involved in the WWW. It is our hope to make very current technical content accessible to our undergraduate students. It is particularly aimed to give students pursuing related careers a broad overview of the technological aspects of the WWW.

This course will:
(a) Review the history of the evolution of the WWW from a technological and application perspective.
(b) Review technologies that have supported information retrieval such as searching and ranking, reputation and recommendation systems, management of
very large datasets, and issues of security and spamming.
Review fundamental scientific questions arising from the WWW "phenomenon".
(c) Review "killer" applications, such as peer-to-peer networks, e-commerce, online communities, content distribution systems and othr social networks.
(d) Review societal and business impact and opportunities.


The course has no official prerequisites,
other than junior status or permission of the instructor.
However, some familiarity/interest in the WWW will be assumed.

Beyond the College of Computing, we particularly welcome
students across all Colleges of Georgia Tech.

Format and Evaluation

We shall have lectures and/or discussions every Tue and Thu. Topics, reading materials and assignments are found in the Lectures web page.
(1)You should come to the lectures (unless you have a reasonable excuse and inform the instructor) and you should participate in the discussions.
(2)You will be asked to write critiques on topics that will be covered. Critiques will be shared with the entire class. You are also expected to participate in a class online discussion forum.
(3)As an individuals or in a small group, you will be posponsible for leading a topic presentation and/or discussion.
(4)Optional: You may do a project, involving novel research or technology development. Your instructor encourages such projects, and will fully support them (perhaps in collaboration with additional faculty members, if that is appropriate), provided that the project has clear potential to lead to a scientific publication or software deployment.


Tu-Thu 4:30-6:00, CCB 17.


Milena Mihail, Associate Professor
Office phone: 404-385-0617
Cell Phone: 404 379-1460
Office hours: By appointment, Klaus 2138.

All email concerning this course should have a subject entitled CS4803.

Sample Resources

"Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age", by Duncan J. Watts.
"The Tipping Point", by Malcolm Gladwell.
"The Wisdom of Crowds", by James Surowieski.
"Micromotives and Macrobehavior", by Thomas C. Schelling.
"The Long Tail", by Chris Anderson http://www.thelongtail.com/about.html (see also book).
"Social Consequences of Internet Use", by J.E. Katz and R.E. Rice.
"Web Server Technology", N. Yeager and R.E. McGrath.
"Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies", by A. Oram.
Introduction to Information Retrieval by C.D. Manning, P. Raghavan and H. Schutze.

As We May Think, by V. Bush.
A Little History of the WWW,
Authoritative Sources in a Hyperlinked Environment, by Jon Kleinberg.
The Anatomy of a Large Scale Search Engine, by S. Brin and L. Page.
Searching the Web, by Arasu et al.
Indexing by Latent Semantic Analysis, Deerwester et al.
Information Dynamics in a Networked World, by Adamic and Adar,
The Largest Social Network Ever Analyzed, by Leskovec and Horvitz.
Algorithms, Games and the Internet, by Christos Papadimitriou.
"Cascading Behavior in Networks: Algorithmic and Economic Issues." by Jon Kleinberg, In Algorithmic Game Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Courses/Web Sites:
Networks, by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg.
Networked Life, by Mike Kearns.
Internet Applications and Services (click Teaching), by Constantine Dovrolis.
Complex Human Networks Reading Group.

Class Web-site http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~mihail/index4803.html.

This site is maintained by Milena Mihail, please report problems to mihail@cc.gatech.edu.