Web Science

From Computer Science Wiki
Web Science[1]

What is the web? How is the web made? This section delves into core components of the world-wide-web. It is likely you use the web every day. Like everything in computer science, we want you to understand the depth of this topic.

The big ideas in Web Science[edit]

Developing the Web[edit]

Please note this section is not linked to the IB option of web science.

Everything below this section IS linked to the IB computer science option.

Creating the web[edit]

Searching the Web[edit]

Distributed approaches to the web[edit]

The evolving web[edit]

Analyzing the web (HL Only)[edit]

Intelligent web (HL Only)[edit]


Creating the Web[edit]

  • Distinguish between the internet and World Wide Web (web).
  • Describe how the web is constantly evolving.
  • Identify the characteristics of the following: HTTP, HTTPS, HTML, URL, XML, XSLT, CSS.
  • Identify the characteristics of a uniform resource identifier (URI) URL.
  • Describe the purpose of a URL.
  • Describe how a domain name server functions.
  • Identify the characteristics of the internet protocol (IP) transmission control protocol (TCP) file transfer protocol (FTP).
  • Outline the different components of a web page.
  • Explain the importance of protocols and standards on the web.
  • Describe the different types of web page.
  • Explain the differences between a static web page and a dynamic web page.
  • Explain the functions of a browser.
  • Evaluate the use of client-side scripting and server-side scripting in web pages.
  • Describe how web pages can be connected to underlying data sources.
  • Describe the function of the common gateway interface (CGI).
  • Evaluate the structure of different types of web pages.


  • Define the term search engine.
  • Distinguish between the surface web and the deep web.
  • Outline the principles of searching algorithms used by search engines.
  • Describe how a web crawler functions.
  • Discuss the relationship between data in a meta-tag and how it is accessed by a web crawler.
  • Discuss the use of parallel web crawling.
  • Outline the purpose of web-indexing in search engines.
  • Suggest how web developers can create pages that appear more prominently in search engine results.
  • Describe the different metrics used by search engines.
  • Explain why the effectiveness of a search engine is determined by the assumptions made when developing it.
  • Discuss the use of white hat and black hat search engine optimization.
  • Outline future challenges to search engines as the web continues to grow.

Distributed approaches to the web[edit]

  • Define the terms: mobile computing, ubiquitous computing, peer-2-peer network, grid computing.
  • Compare the major features of: mobile computing ubiquitous computing peer-2-peer network grid computing.
  • Distinguish between interoperability and open standards.
  • Describe the range of hardware used by distributed networks.
  • Explain why distributed systems may act as a catalyst to a greater decentralization of the web.
  • Distinguish between lossless and lossy compression.
  • Evaluate the use of decompression software in the transfer of information.

The evolving web[edit]

  • Discuss how the web has supported new methods of online interaction such as social networking.
  • Describe how cloud computing is different from a client-server architecture.
  • Discuss the effects of the use of cloud computing for specified organizations.
  • Discuss the management of issues such as copyright and intellectual property on the web.
  • Describe the interrelationship between privacy, identification and authentication.
  • Describe the role of network architecture, protocols and standards in the future development of the web.
  • Explain why the web may be creating unregulated monopolies.
  • Discuss the effects of a decentralized and democratic web.

Analyzing the web (HL)[edit]

  • Describe how the web can be represented as a directed graph.
  • Outline the difference between the web graph and sub-graphs.
  • Describe the main features of the web graph such as bowtie structure, strongly connected core (SCC), diameter.
  • Explain the role of graph theory in determining the connectivity of the web.
  • Explain that search engines and web crawling use the web graph to access information.
  • Discuss whether power laws are appropriate to predict the development of the web.

Semantic web (HL)[edit]

  • Distinguish between the text-web and the multimedia-web.
  • Describe the aims of the semantic web.
  • Distinguish between an ontology and folksonomy.
  • Describe how folksonomies and emergent social structures are changing the web.
  • Explain why there needs to be a balance between expressivity and usability on the semantic web.
  • Evaluate methods of searching for information on the web.
  • Distinguish between ambient intelligence and collective intelligence.
  • Discuss how ambient intelligence can be used to support people.
  • Explain how collective intelligence can be applied to complex issues.