COMPGW02 - Web Economics

This database contains 2017-18 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

CodeCOMPGW02 (Also taught as COMPM041)
PrerequisitesNormally offered only to students in computer science related programmes because basic programming skills are required. Basic understanding of probability and statistics and proficient in java programming, as demonstrated by a least one programing project in the past is required.
Taught ByJun Wang (100%)
AimsThe course is intended to provide an introduction of the computing systems and their economics for the production, distribution, and consumption of (digital) goods and services over the Internet and web. While the basic economic principles are covered to understand the business aspects of web-based services, the course is primarily focused on the computational and statistical methods for implementing, improving and optimizing the internet-based businesses, including algorithmic mechanism design, online auctions, user behavior targeting, dynamic pricing, online gaming and AI, crowdsourcing and social media mining. Practical applications such as Google’s online advertising, ebay’s online auction, and Amazon’s cloud computing will also be covered and discussed.
Learning OutcomesThe students are expected to master both the theoretical and practical aspects of web economics. More specifically, the student will:
  1. understand basic economic principles and computational methods for the production, distribution, and consumptions of digital goods and services online.
  2. understand the computational methods/models to manage and optimize the Internet-based businesses.
  3. understand the challenges and techniques for the emerging topics such as computing as service and attention economics.
  4. be able to formulate research questions that are relevant to internet-based businesses and use the tools of economics and computational techniques to provide answers to them, and, be familiar with important work in the field.


  1. Game theory and Repeated games (File sharing Torrent)
  2. Auctions (eBay)
  3. Computational advertising 1
  4. Computational advertising 2
  5. Electronic Games: Single agent
  6. Electronic Games: Multi-agent reinforcement learning
  7. Cloud computing and distributed computing
  8. Recommender systems and collaborative filtering (amazon)
  9. Dynamic pricing
  10. Matching Markets

Method of Delivery

Lectures. We will also have guest lecturers from the relevant industries in order to get an understanding of the real world applications of the material covered. A website or/and moodle webpage will be created for the course and the course materials such as lecture notes, sample codes, will be shared. By using moodle, students will also be able to discuss relevant ideas and have questions answered by the lecturer.


The module has the following assessment components:

  • Written examination (2.5 hours, 70%)
  • Coursework (30%) 

To pass this module, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all components combined.




Reading list available via the UCL Library catalogue.