Thinking Web

Thinking its enormity, complexity and global reach. Bernardo Huberman from HP Lab said that statistical physics model has helped to discover some regularities of the Web. It can shed light on:
– how information is stored and linked within the Web
– how individuals use it
– how people interact on a massive scale when foraging for information in this new medium.

The structure and content of the Web is the result of actions by millions of people who seldom, if ever, think of the global implications of adding an extra page or a link to their sites.

Those strong regularities are interesting, because it can be explained by theories that take into account the detailed behavioral mechanisms of Web users and designers of sites. As the theories then proceed to connect the individual level to the aggregate behavior of the Web, they shed light on number of social mechanisms that are operational beyond of the Web. examples of such insights are provided by laws that explain how people surf, how they interact with one another through congestion patterns, and how they determine the popularity of given sites. From this perspective, the Web becomes a gigantic informational ecosystem that can be used to quantitatively measure and test theories of human behavior and social interaction.