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Networks: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 25. Oktober 2012

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende


Guido Caldarelli is Associate Professor in the Institute of Complex Networks of the National Research Council in Rome, Italy. He is an expert of scale-free networks and self-similar phenomena, especially of the applications of network theory to information technology and biology.
Michele Catanzaro is a freelance science writer based in Barcelona, Spain.


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Networks and networking are buzzwords of our interconnected online society. The numerous possibilities and changes, be they social or professional, brought upon our lives by such networks are interesting enough.

Yet, networks occur beyond the human social realm, and they cover various dimensions and scales. This book reveals the nature of networks, and their shared features. Networks occur in genetic, molecular, neuronal, ecological, social, and economic systems, to name but a few. Network features make the interactions between their elements often complex and potentially difficult to predict in the long term. Some features are complexity and self-organisation. Different structures of networks can be identified, with different features and dynamics (p. 67-68).
Network science works as an interdisciplinary approach to study these networks.

Despite the thrive for generalisation across the different phenomena, the book does well to also explain how to approach networks experimentally, including some landmark studies, and the important implications of networks to understand behaviour (indirect mate choice, homogamy) or epidemic thresholds and the spread of epidemics.
It gives examples from the Medici to Messi and metabolism to medicine.
There is also some insight why the chances of receiving a Nobel price are network-correlated.

This short book is fun to read (a rarity among the VSIs, it is not only authored by an eminent expert in the field, but co-authored by a science journalist).
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Format: Taschenbuch
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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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 14 Rezensionen
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen a stimulating introduction, with diverse insights from the inane to the profound 4. Dezember 2012
Von Nigel Kirk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A quick scan of this VSI indicated that it contained a single equation (p=1/2 for a coin toss), reasonable considering the limited depths of explanation possible in this format, but nevertheless indicative of the depth that this introduction to networks attempts. In fairness, it makes good use of graphs. At the time of this review, Wikipedia indicated that 'network' may refer to any of 13 non-proper noun subtopics, any of which may fall within the ambit of this VSI so, again, it can only offer a reader a sense of the extreme breadth and complexity of the networks topic.

My interest was piqued early by the social network representation of a central Australian aboriginal group. No reference or researcher names were given and my own web search suggests that the tribe name must have been spelled Aranda, Arrernte or Arunta but certainly not Arunda as in the book. While this eroded my confidence in the accuracy of this VSI edition, most other areas of discussion identified researchers and the limited bibliography, again excusable up to a point in a VSI book, was of less concern.

The VSI is structured around the topography, trends, dynamics, classification, uses and numerous other features of networks. In each case myriad examples are offered from ecology, neurology, various associations of words and people, the internet, the `six degrees of separation' theory, and many more. There is more emphasis on social networks and the examples and observations range from the inane to the common sense to the profound. The exposition is fresh and engaging. One interesting topic on network structure dealt with how scientific profile and success is a product of network structure (I was interested in how this worked for scientific paper citation) and this topic provided an excellent foundation for further reading and thinking through the issue, as I believe it does for many other networks topics.

In keeping with the book's focus on the features of networks, it provides a useful review in its final chapter, "All the World's a Net; or Not?". Accompanied with the fine range of examples, this is a useful and engaging introduction to the diverse subject of networks.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen best intrductory book on the subject 13. November 2015
Von Walid K. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is by far the best introductory book on the subject that I could find. I read three other books written by experts in the field: "Linked" by Barabasi, "Connected" by Christakis and found both to be shallow; also "Understanding Social Networks" by Kadushin which is too dense. I highly recomend this book for its accessibility, clarity, substance and breadth of coverage.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A good road map to road maps everywhere. 17. April 2016
Von Axel W - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The book walks you through the various networks, the Internet, food webs (they're not chains as you would have told before), molecular networks, sexual partners and airline networks, among many. There are a bunch of tidbits of information throughout the book to keep you entertained but you won't get lost in the myriads of networks quoted in the book as the author uses these fun facts about networks effectively to paint the overall road map of what network theory is and where it is headed.

There are two things I particularly liked about the book. The first thing is that it provides us with an alternative way to understand familiar natural or social phenomena. Without network structures in mind, it is hard to understand why extinction of one species leads to extinction of other ostensibly unrelated species, or why African Americans are 1.3 times more likely to contract STI's than white counterparts. It is important to recognize the part network plays if we are to take any policy interventions to prevent extinction or spread of viruses, or else we can waste tons of resources for nothing. We can't see the forest for the trees.

The second thing is that author direct us to the idea of centrality without getting too technical. The number of links is one way to measure how important (or central) the node is, but it is just one way to do so. There are a few other useful ways to gauge the centrality and the authors explain what these are and how these can explain the phenomena that cannot be explained by a simple degree. My favorite example in the book was Anchorage airport, whose links are not that many but important nonetheless on the other metric (I'll stop right here because I don't want to spoil the surprise for you). Once again, the book makes us realize that we need to acknowledge not just the number of links each node has but also *how* it is placed in the network to detect where the choke point is or to construct robust networks.

A little drawback of the book is the lack of graphs. I was hoping to see more graphical representations. The author warns of the use of a graph to represent certain types of networks and I totally agree. But then there are occasions when a picture is worth a thousand words, and it is especially true when your subject is *graph* theory. For example, the explanation of transitivity could use a little graph, with just three nodes, which would have saved a lot of explanations. This is definitely not a deal breaker though.

Overall, an entertaining and easy-to-read introductory book on network.
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good, but a roadmap is necessary 25. April 2016
Von HERNANDO VARGAS H - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is a good introduction to network analysis. It describes the relevant concepts, presents some bits of its historical development and provides numerous examples of networks in the natural and social worlds. It does not use any mathematical formulation, which is good for beginners without a strong technical background, but makes it difficult to precisely understand some concepts. The main drawback of the book is the lack of a "roadmap" in the beginning. Each chapter is packed with very intersting information, but it is hard to figure out a logical sequence in which the main themes of the chapters are linked. As a result, at some point the reader may be lost in the details of a chapter without a clear understanding of how it relates to the whole survey. The book could greatly benefit from a "roadmap" in the introduction.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Covers all the main aspects of networks 25. Januar 2013
Von Iacopo Baussano - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The book structure overlaps with the one proposed in most good technical books.
This is quite good because it makes the presentation a very good introduction to more advanced resources.
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