Informatics and Digital Creation

From the Web to social networks


The social Web, also known as Web 2.0, has transformed uses. Today, more than a dozen social networks have exceeded 100 million users; Wikipedia is a huge encyclopedia built by its own users. How has the Web evolved from a Web documentary to a social Web? How have the social networks that are at the heart of Web 2.0 emerged? Researchers are trying to answer these questions and model the social uses of the Web …




(most definitions are taken from Wikipedia)

  • Internet: a set of standards and technologies that connect computers and networks to each other.
  • Web: (World Wide Web, sometimes also called the Web) one of the Internet applications that allows to link and consult remotely documents (eg a newspaper), application interfaces (eg a reservation service), data (eg, city temperatures), etc.
  • Link: element that establishes links. When talking about graphs, links are what connects the different vertices.
  • Graph (nodes, arcs): a type of data structure composed of vertices (also called points, nodes) connected by links (also called edges or arcs).
  • Oriented graph: if the links of a graph are oriented (the orientation is materialized by arrows), it means that the relation goes in one direction, is asymmetrical. The graph is oriented.
  • Labeled graph: This is a graph whose links are labeled by a number, a symbol, a letter, and so on.
  • Adjacency matrix: a mathematical tool that can model the links of a graph in the form of a table (or matrix) and, in our case, the relations of a network.
  • Centrality of intermediacy: a measure, among others, of the centrality of a vertex of a graph. It captures the number of times a node acts in a graph as a waypoint along the shortest path between two other nodes.
  • Social Web: Web evolution characterized by the interaction between users and the production of content by them.
  • Social Network: Web side, this is an application that uses the science and technology of information and communication to connect people. Outside the digital world, a social network is a group of people that makes sense.



Fabien GANDON is research director at Inria and head of the Wimmics team (Côte d’Azur University, Inria, CNRS, I3S) which studies models and algorithms to reconcile the social Web and the Semantic Web. He is also Inria’s representative to the International Consortium for Web Standardization (W3C).