The Emerging Science of the Web

  Tim Berners-Lee
  Wendy Hall
Organizing Committee:
  Jim Hendler
  Nigel Shadbolt
  Daniel Weitzner

Location: HQ of the British Computer Society, London, UK

Dates: September 12-13, 2005

Attendance By Invitation Only

"In just a few years since inception, the Web has revolutionized information access and exchange across all human endeavors, truly creating a global village," --- Francesco Parese Marconi, chairman of the Marconi Foundation.

The growth of the World Wide Web, since it's invention 15 years ago, has been absolutely spectacular - billions of pages have been developed in almost every human language by people living in every country and continent. Children learn to how to search the Web in school, professionals from businessmen to scientists use the Web routinely in their day-to-day life, and "to google" has become a widely used verb in many languages.

As the Web celebrates it's first decade of widespread use, the research community must address its attention to the key challenges presented for the next decade. For the Web to continue to revolutionize the sharing of human knowledge, we will be called upon to provide tools and techniques that enable web-wide integration of data, processes and knowledge currently held in off-web applications and proprietary formats. Regardless of the rubric under which they work -- the Semantic Web, Web Services, or the Grid -- system designers are seeking to develop a unified but decentralized information architecture that allows serendipitous integration of not just text, but also data, multimedia, and other knowledge products from across the global infospace. While we believe that the architecture of today's World Wide Web offers important direction, major contributions from across the range of computer science will be required to enable the Web to continue to take major steps forward.

As the amount of data available on and through the Web grows, we also see unprecedented social challenges in the management of both personal and proprietary information. In order to help make the Web more 'policy aware,' the emerging science of the Web must develop both intellectual and institutional techniques for assuring that the technologies we build are designed in a manner that is responsive to evolving individual and social needs.

The purpose of this workshop is to explore what the critical research challenges are for the future of the World Wide Web, and to outline what major breakthroughs will be needed to let its exponential growth continue into the future.

This workshop will consider fundamental questions in a range of Web technologies including:

As an output of the workshop discussions, the workshop organizers will produce a white paper targeting funding agencies and other interested parties. In addition, the possibility of producing a book or other extended collection will be considered at the meeting.

More detailed logistics information will be provided at a later time.