Six Degrees: The New Science of Networks
All readings listed under topic headings are compulsory;
references listed under Additional Reading are optional.
Note: Some sections will require more time than others;
thus the number of readings per topic is not constant.
The length and difficulty of the readings also varies.
In general, you should expect to devote at least a few hours to reading every week.
If you do that consistently, you should have no difficulty in keeping up;
if you let it accumulate, you will be swamped.
Part I: Why are social networks interesting?
Reaching out to each other
- Who are your friends, and why?
- Who do you want to meet? (and do they want to meet you?)
- Who pays attention to whom
- D.Boyd, Friendster and publicly articulate social networking. Conference on Human Factors and Computing Systems, Vienna: ACM, April 24-29 (2004).
- D.Watts, Online Dating (with a little help from your friends). Unpublished manuscript.
- G.J.Hitsch, A.Hortacsu, and D.Ariely.What Makes you Click: An empirical analysis of online dataing. Working paper (2005).
- J.Peretti, My Nike media adventure.The Nation, April 9 2001.
- Anonymous, Measuring the influence of bloggers on corporate reputation.
- C.Shirky, Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing.
- C.McLaren, Media Virus, Interview with Jonah.Peretti, Stay Free
Working and Playing Together
- Distributed computing
- Open source software
- Wikis and clickworkers
- Peer-to-peer file sharing
- Y.Benkler, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom., (Yale University Press, 2006), Chapter 3.
- H.Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. (Basic Books, 2002), Chapters 3-5. (Library: Business Course Reserves).
- L.Erlanger, Distributed computing: An introduction.
- J.Giles, Internet encyclopedias go head to head, Nature online, December 14 2005.
- The Economist, Worlds without ends.
- E.Castronova, On Virtual Economics, CESifo Working Paper Series No.752.
Part II: What do we know about social networks?
Networks as a way of looking at society
- Basic network concepts and terminology
- Real-world social networks
- D.J.Watts, Six Degrees, Chapters 1-2. W.W.Norton&Co. (2003)
- S.Wasserman and K.Faust, Social Network Analysis, Chapters 1-2. Cambridge Univ. Press (1999)
- C.McCarty, H.R.Bernard, P.D.Killworth, G.A.Shelley, and E.C.Johnsen, Eliciting representative samples of personal networks. Social Networks, 19, 303-323 (1997).
- G.Kossinets and D.J.Watts, Empirical Analysis of Evolving Social Networks. Science, 311, 88-90 (2006).
- P.Bearman and P.Parigi, Cloning headless frogs and other important matters: Conversation topics and network structure., Social Forces 83(2):535-557 (2004).
The Small World Problems
- The Small World Experiment
- Why is it surprising?
- Random graphs
- Small World networks
- J.Travers and S.Milgram, An experimental study of the small world problem., Sociometry, 32(4), 425-443 (1969).
- P.S.Dodds, R.Muhamad, D.J.Watts, An experimental study of search in global social networks, Science, 301, 827-829 (2003).
- M.Granovetter, The Strength of weak ties, American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360-1380 (1973).
- D.Watts, Networks, dynamics, and the small world phenomenon. American Journal of Sociology, (1999).
- D.J.Watts, S.H.Strogatz, Collective dynamics of "small-world" networks., Nature, 393, 440-442 (1998).
How to Search a Social Network
- The Search Problem
- Identity and Social Search
- Is 6 a big or small number
- M.Buchanan, Know thy neighbour, New Scientist (Jan 17, 2004)
- D.Watts, P.Dodds, M.Newman, Identity and search in social networks, Science, 296, 1302-1305 (2002).
- J.Kleinfeld, The Small World Problem, Society, 39(2), 61-66 (2002).
- L.Adamic, E.Adar, How to search a social network, Social Networks, 27(3) 187-203 (2005).
- Cumulative Advantage
- Power laws and scale free networks
- Classes of networks
- R.Merton, The Matthew effect in science, Science, 159, 56-63 (1968).
- A.Barabasi, R.Albert, Emergence of scaling in random networks, Science, 286, 509-512 (1999).
- L.Amaral, A.Scala, M.Barthelemy, H.Stanley, Classes of small-world networks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 97(21), 11149-11152 (2000).
- E. Fox Keller, Revisiting "scale-free" networks, BioEssays, 27:1060-1068 (2005).
Part III: How do networks affect social processes?
Disease Spreading, Outbreaks, and Epidemics
- Modeling the spread of disease
- The epidemic threshold
- Concurrency in sexually-transmitted diseases
- Why are epidemics so unpredictable
- D.J.Watts,In epidemics, is fear a good thing?
- D.J.Watts, Pandemic preparedness and predictability Unpublished manuscript (2005)
- M.Keeling, The Mathematics of Disease: One parameter (almost) does it all. Plus online
- M.Morris and M.Kretzschmar, Concurrent partnerships and the spread of HIV. AIDS 11, pp. 648-651 (1997)
- F.Liljeros, C.R.Edling, L.A.N.Amaral, H.E.Stanley, Y.Aberg, The web of human sexual contacts. Nature 411, 907-908 (2001)
- A.L.Lloyd and R.M.May, Epidemiology - How viruses spread among computers and people. Science, 292, 1316-1317 (2001).
- D.J.Watts, R.Muhamad, P.S.Dodds, D.Medina, Multiscale, recurrent epidemics in a hierarchical compartment model. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 102(32), 11157-11162 (2005).
Social Contagion and Information Cascades
- Threshold rules for decision making
- Social contagion versus biological contagion
- S.E.Asch, Effect of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgements, in Group Dynamics: Research and Theory, Edited by D.Cartwright, A.Zander, First Edition, Row, Peterson and Co. 1953.
- D.J.Watts, The Kerry Cascade: How a '50s psychology experimnen can explain the Democratic primaries. Slate Magazine, Feb.24 (2004).
- D.Lopez-Pintado and D.Watts, Social influence, binary decisions, and collective dynamics. Working paper (2006), Sections 3.
- M.Granovetter, Threshold models of collective behavior.American Journal of Sociology 83(6), 1420-1443 (1978).
- Bass, F.M., A new product growth for model consumer durables. Management Science, 15(5) 215-227 (1969).
- P.S.Dodds and D.J.Watts,Universal behavior in a generalized model of contagion. Physical Review Letters, 92(21), 218701 (2004).
Information Cascades and Unpredicatability
- The Activation Game
- Threshold rules and cascades on networks
- Social influence and unpredictability
- Accidental influentials
- C.Mackay,Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Chapter 3, Harmony Books (1980).
- D.MacKenzie, Fear in the Markets. London Review of Books, 22(8), 31-32 (2000).
- D.J.Watts, A Simple model of global cascades on random networks. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA, 99, 5766-5771 (2002).
- D.J.Watts and P.S.Dodds, The Accidental Influentials. Working paper (2006).
- M.J.Salganik, P.S.Dodds, and D.J.Watts, An experimental study of inequality and unpredictability in an artificial cultural market. Science, in press (2006).
Networks, Emergence, and Causality in Social Processes
- Emergence: "the whole is different from the sum of its parts"
- Networks as a way to solve micro-macro problem
- Hindsight bias and creeping determinism
- Cause and effect in complex systems
Organizations, Problems Solving, and Robustness
- The Toyota-Aisin crisis
- Markets versus hierarchies
- The firm as an information-processing network
- Ultra-robust networks
- R.H.Coase,The nature of the firm. Economica (1937). Reprinted in Coase, R.H. The Firm, Market ,and the Law, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chapter 2, (1988).
- W.Powell, Neither market nor hierarchy: Network forms of organization. Coming soon
- R.Albert, H.Jeong, and A.L.Barabasi, Error and attack tolerance of complex networks. Nature 406, 387-482 (2000).
- P.S.Dodds, D.J.Watts, and C.F.Sabel, Information exchange and the robustness of organizational networks, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 12516-12521(2003).
- C.F.Sabel, A Real Time Revolution in Routines. Organizational studies, forthcoming. (2006).