Over the past decade there has been a growing public fascination with the complex connectedness of modern society. This connectedness is found in many incarnations: in the rapid growth of the Internet, in the ease with which global communication takes place, and in the ability of news and information as well as epidemics and financial crises to spread with surprising speed and intensity. These are phenomena that involve networks, incentives, and the aggregate behavior of groups of people; they are based on the links that connect us and the ways in which our decisions can have subtle consequences for others. This introductory undergraduate textbook takes an interdisciplinary look at economics, sociology, computing and information science, and applied mathematics to understand networks and behavior. It describes the emerging field of study that is growing at the interface of these areas, addressing fundamental questions about how the social, economic, and technological worlds are connected.
“In my three decades plus of teaching, I cannot recall an urge to teach a new undergraduate course like the one I felt upon leafing through this wonderful introduction to everything that is new and important and intellectually challenging in our world.”
Christos Papadimitriou, C. Lester Hogan Professor of EECS, University of California, Berkeley
“The elegant explanations in this book allow readers to rapidly gain a deep understanding of how networks work. Without resorting to either advanced math or even a bit of hand-waving, Easley and Kleinberg take us through the essential concepts and intriguing real-world applications.”
Professor Lada Adamic, School of Information and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan
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