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Studies in Computational Intelligence, 2018, 767 pp. 1 - 21
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© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature. Since its inception, the internet has transformed the way we communicate, interact and do business across the globe. Described and dubbed as information highway, the internet has provided an unprecedented seamless infrastructure to assimilate and dissimilate information with an ease and speed never before witnessed by mankind. Today, as a result of this, 51.7% of the world’s population is using the internet. Various recent initiatives such as promotion and adoptions of internet in remote regions and under privileged areas has increased the actual internet usage than the reported figures. Capitalizing on such intrinsic properties of the internet as simplicity, ubiquity and scalability, Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web in 1989 (Berners-Lee, Fischetti, Weaving the web: the original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web by its inventor, HarperSanFrancisco, San Francisco, 1999, [25]) as a platform for publishing and consuming information on a universal scale. The World Wide Web (also known as the WWW or Web), which without a doubt is one of the most significant computational phenomena to date, has revolutionized information sharing by providing a decentralized information platform which has enabled and empowered users to be more interactive and participative, turning each user of the Web into a potential publisher (Fig. 1.1). Being able to publish information which is accessible to anyone in the world with access to the Web for a low cost has resulted in the proliferation of approximately 4.62 billion indexed web documents containing information on a variety of topics, and creating a huge amount of diversified information commonly referred as Big Data.
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