catching the network science bug

About 10 days ago I was asked by two friends (who do not know each other) for some information and literature on social networks. So after talking to them, I decided to document my self-study journey on social network analysis and the new(?) discipline that is called network science. I feel these two walk together hand in hand.

I first encountered SNA while reading the June 2007 Data Engineering Bulletin issue and especially Bernie Hogan’s “Using Information Networks to Study Social Behavior: An Appraisal” [pdf]. This must be the Data Engineering Bulletin issue that I have read the most. I remember being on vacation, having ideas flowing and calling Unique Fish in the middle of the night to discuss them.

It also happened that the next fall I was studying basic graph theory and I revisited the two Faloutsos3 papers on power laws and the Internet topology. I thought of toying around a bit more, but hey someone else had already written about “The Social Life of Routers” [pdf].

Digging some more, I came along the INSNA web site and their SOCNET mailing list (participation is free and the quality of conversations is excellent). From there I found out interesting stuff, the most interesting being: Social Network Analysis (if you need a freely available book look at Introduction to social network methods), Mason Porter’s blog (which is fun to read anyway) Valdis Krebs‘ work (also @valdiskrebs) and some papers that I really liked, namely [pdf links]:

Last summer John Baras, while giving a presentation on the subject, suggested reading Network Flows and Monotropic Optimization (and I have not regretted buying it) and Freeman‘s The development of social network analysis is waiting next in line to be read.

The list could go on of course, but I’ll stop here.

Important disclaimer: The above is the product of my self-study effort on the subject. It is not to be taken as a suggested roadmap of systematic study in any way. After all it is a personal log of my journey on the subject, and can best be viewed as bookmarks with commentary.

Update 2009/06/12: Alexandra Marin and Barry Wellman posted: “Social Network Analysis: An Introduction” [pdf]

9 thoughts on “catching the network science bug

  1. Σχετικό 1:


    I first met Christos in Crete, the island in Greece where my family comes from. Christos was giving a set of talks on Algorithmic Game Theory as part of the Onassis Foundation science lecture series on the Internet and the Web. I walked into the amphitheater a bit late, and the first thing I saw was a slide depicting the Internet as a cloud connecting a dozen of computers. This cloud started growing, and, as it grew, it devoured the computers and broke out of the boundaries of the screen. Then, a large question-mark appeared. In the next couple of slides Christos explained Game Theory and the concept of the Nash equilibrium as a framework for studying the Internet. I had no idea at that moment that this would be the motivation for my Ph.D. research. . .

    Click to access thesis.pdf

      1. Ποιο εννοείς σχετικό; το διδακτορικό; η τα slides του ΧΠ; δε θυμάμαι αν ήσουν πάντως το τρία… δεν σε ήξερα κιόλας.

        1. (Δεν έχω πάει στα lectrure series)

          Εννοώ πως από παλιά ο ΧΠ προσπαθούσε να καταλάβει πως δουλεύει το Internet (θυμάμαι χαρακτηριστικά μια ομιλία του στο HDMS) και πως αυτό που είδε ο Δασκαλάκης είναι μάλλον κομάτι της δουλειάς που έβγαλε και το “On a network creation game”.

          1. Regarding Papadimitriou’s talk agtb writes: “Christos gave the current version of his usual talk on the complexity of equilibria. While the title remains the same, the contents keep being updated as Christos obtains new results. (As Christos says, this is better than giving the same talk but with changing titles.)”

  2. i think i will also follow this path :) i have read the faloutsos papers and i have started reading the June 2007 Data Engineering Bulletin issue. thanx for all information! ;)

  3. Happy to be of service! And remember that next year Sunbelt is in Italy, which is not that far a commute for a fantastic networks conference.

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