The University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science

COM6504 The Intelligent Web


This course is concerned with getting acquainted with the present and future of the advanced Web. We will read and discuss both introductory descriptions and cutting-edge research papers. Topics will include:

  • Basic technologies for searching and mining the WWW
  • Large scale methodologies for the Web (e.g. Mapreduce)
  • Client server architectures
  • Advanced mobile Web apps
  • Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 concepts, including mining social media (e.g. Twitter and Facebook)
  • The Web of Data and the Semantic Web.

Students should be aware that there are limited places available on this course.

Session Spring 2021/22
Credits 15
  • Assignment
  • Blackboard quiz
Lecturer(s) Prof. Fabio Ciravegna
Aims The Web will look quite different in five years’ time. This unit aims to let students aware of the changes in Web technologies that are currently taking place, and to prepare them for the coming future. Such changes involve the use of advanced techniques that will allow more focused searches and the creation of a new breed of automatic services based on advanced agents. The aim of the module is:
  • to describe the main approaches to the advanced web
  • to develop students' skills in designing and building serious advanced systems for the Web

On completion of this course, students should:

  • Know the basics of Web searching and how to design a crawler and a client server architecture
  • Know about a number of state-of-the-art advanced web methodologies
  • Have an in-depth knowledge about in client server architectures supporting services such as noSQL databases and connections to remote APIs
  • Be able to write or customize a web system which uses the Web of Data and Web 2.0 techniques
  • Part I: Setting the Scene:
    • A history of the Internet and the Web
    • Present and Future Web
  • Part II: Clients and Servers
    • HTTP protocol
    • Client server architectures in NodeJs
    • Asynchronous and synchronous client/server connections
    • Accessing remote noSQL databases
    • and WebRTC for Web video communication
    • The mobile Web: progressive web apps and hybrid apps
  • Part III: horizon scanning
    • Spidering the Web and search engines: why where and what
    • Web 2.0 and 3.0: why and what
  • Part V: The Web of Data
    • Linked Open Data
  • Part VI: Conclusions
    • The future as seen from here.
Restrictions This module assumes strong programming.   It cannot be taken with COM6517. The maximum number of students allowed on the module is 50.
Teaching Method Students learn the course matter through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratories. Each week there will be 2 hours of lecture/tutorials and from the third week of semester, 1 hour of supervised laboratory work.
Feedback Students will be given formative (i.e. non marked) feedback on the first part of the assignment within three weeks of submission.
Recommended Reading Most of the material for the module is provided in the form of hyperlinks to relevant pages in the lecture notes and on Blackboard.