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Web Science – The Computer Science of the 21st Century

  • With the Web we have an open, heterogeneous, distributed, and fast changing computing environment.
  • Therefore we need computing to be understood as
    • A goal driven approach where the solution process is only partially determined and actually decided during runtime, based on available data and services.
    • A heuristic approach that gives up on absolute notion of completeness and correctness in order to gain scalability.
  • The times of 100% complete and correct solutions are gone.
  • The need for trade-offs:
    • In all areas one has to define the trade-off between the guarantees one provides in terms of service level agreements. Completeness and correctness are just examples of some very strong guarantees and what this requires in terms of assumptions, and computational complexity 
    • Different heuristic problem solving approaches are just different combinations of these three factors.
  • Service level agreements (or goals) define what has to be provided as result of solving a problem.
  • Do we request an optimal solution, a semi-optimal solution, or just any solution?

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