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Digital Communities (WT 2020 / 2021)


Welcome to the course Digital Communities (winter term 2020 / 2021)

  • First lecture: November 5th, 2020, 14:00 o'clock Online.
  • The course syllabus and accompanying material such as research papers, homework, links and lecture slides are available via the following ISIS forum:

  • Important:

    • This course is limited to 50 participants.
    • If you want to register for this course (and for the exam at the end of the semester), you need to submit your registration via the course registration link published in ISIS by November 6th, 2020, 23:59 o'clock at the latest.



The module starts with an introduction to the fundamentals of digital communities and an overview of historical and contemporary online social networks (OSN) and the technological challenges and problems they face.

The second part of the module discusses architectures, standards, and protocols of the social web with a clear focus on decentralized and distributed online social networks. This includes architectural concepts for federated, peer-to-peer, and blockchain-based online social network architectures as well as the standards and protocols implemented for inter-platform communication and collaboration. For example, architectures and protocols of various peer-to-peer systems and Blockchains are analyzed and discussed.

The third part of the module focuses on decentralized identity management (IDM), discussing various aspects of IDM and existing established and novel services, such as the Domain Name Service (DNS), the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), or Distributed Identifiers (DIDs) and the concepts of verifiable claims.

Finally, the module gives an introduction to graph theory, followed by methods and applications of social network analysis.

The module aims to present a holistic view of the different parts, discussing historic, current state-of-the-art, and novel standards and systems. If applicable, scientific literature (papers) and live coding examples are used during the lecture.

Students who have successfully finished this module have an overview of current and future concepts of digital communities, specifically of the architectural aspects they are based on. They have acquired a deep understanding of both low and high level aspects of decentralized OSN services and are able to apply the various concepts for creating novel OSN platforms.

Target Group

Master students of

  • Computer Science (Informatik) / Kommunikationsbasierte Systeme
  • Computer Engineering (Technische Informatik) / Informationssysteme
  • Innovation in Information and Communication Technology


Schedule and Location
Day of week
Start/End date
14:00 - 16:00
5th Nov. 2020 /
25th Feb 2021
Lecture / Tutorial
14:00 - 16:00
6th Nov. 2020 /
26th Feb 2021



  • Oral exams will be offered between 1st of March and 19th of March, 2021. The exam will take place at Ernst - Reuter - Platz 7, 10587 Berlin, TEL Building, 16th floor.
  • This module is limited to 50 participants.
  • For participation in this course, enrollment as explained in the course syllabus is required. In order to enroll, you need to register via the link published in ISIS by November 6th, 2020, 23:59 o'clock at the latest.

Lecture Materials

Accompanying material such as research papers, homework, links and presentation slides are available via the following ISIS forum:


Material such as articles and papers will be made available during the semester.

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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TU Berlin - Service-centric Networking - TEL 19
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 8353 58811
Fax: +49 30 8353 58409