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Networks: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 25 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199588074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199588077
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Guido Caldarelli is Full Professor in Theoretical Physics in the IMT Alti Studi Lucca and a member of Complex System Institute of the National Research Council, Italy. He is the author of about 100 scientific papers and an expert of scale-free networks and self-similar phenomena, especially of the applications of network theory to evaluation of systemic risk in financial and economic systems. He has worked at the University 'Sapienza' in Rome, the University of Manchester, and the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the textbook Scale-Free Networks (OUP, 2007). Michele Catanzaro is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. He collaborates with media in the UK (Nature, PhysicsWorld), Spain (El Periódico), and Italy (Le Scienze). He holds a PhD on Dynamics in Complex Networks by the Technical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain). He has published several scientific papers in international journals and his work as a journalist has been recognized by three prizes in Spain.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The rise of Internet has put the idea of networks in the forefront of public consciousness, which has only been accentuated with the arrival of (online) social networks. However, explicit or implicit networks are a very salient part of our lives and have been so for quite some time: roads and railroads, kinship networks, commercial networks, are all just some of the examples of networks that we come across all the time. And then there are predator-pray networks, protein interaction networks, and a myriad other examples of networking phenomena. Once you adapt the network paradigm as a guiding principle of organizing the world you start seeing networks everywhere.

This is a very short introduction to networks which covers both the concrete examples of networks as well as the their theoretical description. There are many interesting historical vignettes in it, and quite a few conceptual insights. It is a very well written and resourced book. It has all the qualities that one has come to associate with these short introductions - written by an expert in the field, and yet accessible to a wide range of readers. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in networks of any sort.
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I know nothing about mathmatics, and didn't have to for this book to educate me on what networks mean and how they can be used to model a range of important phenomenon. It only introduces the topic (as the title suggests) and does not provide any quantitative detail but it doesn't have to for it's purpose. Some nice illustrations help convey it's message without numbers. A lot of information is packed into a small number of pages. It inspired me to buy a longer, more mathmatically heavy book on the topic.
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The book starts off well, describing what a network is and how it can be used to represent a myriad of different real world situations. After this, it descends into endless repetition: Such-and-such a problem can be represented as a graph, and that lets us use graph theory to derive insights. No real attempt was made to explain exactly how one could perform this analysis. The book becomes a catalogue of different networks with a few anecdotes thrown in with no real substance.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliant! A good balance of the maths and sociology behind networks and lots of real world examples that make the theory easy to understand. Who knew networks could be so interesting!
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