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Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. Juni 2003

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"An intriguing, accessible look at the mathematics behind the 'six degrees of separation' theory."

An intriguing, accessible look at the mathematics behind the 'six degrees of separation' theory. "

Finally, a readable, simple explanation of one of the most surprising rules of complex networks.--John L. Casti, author of Mathematical Mountaintops: The Five Most Famous Problems of All Time

[G]raceful, lucid, nontechnical and entertaining prose....A remarkable achievement.--Mark Granovetter, Joan Butler Ford Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

Buchanan peels away a veneer of complexity to reveal the simple scaffolding that holds our society together.--Richard Stone, author of Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant

The consequences of this new world view are profound and at times disturbing.--Richard Stone"


This work presents the fundamental principles of the emerging field of "small-worlds" theory, the idea that a hidden pattern is the key to how networks interact and exchange information, whether that network is the information highway or the firing of neurons in the brain. Highlighting groundbreaking research behind network theory, the text documents the mounting support amongst various disciplines for the small-worlds idea and demonstrates its practical applications to diverse problems - from the volatile global economy or the Human Genome Project to the spread of infectious disease or ecological damage.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen 49 Rezensionen
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Networks of sex partners and the Net-Are they really related 9. Dezember 2003
Von world class wreckin cru - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The surprising answer is yes. I picked this book up after reading Steven Strogatz's Sync which mentions a great deal about the science of networks. Buchanan explains how networks exist everywhere - the net, the web, the power grid, our circle of friends, our sex partners - and that they are in fact very similar to one another.
The phrase "six degrees of separation" comes from the fact that two randomly chosen people, A and B, will on average be connected by six social links. A knows C who knows D who knows E who knows F who knows G who finally knows B. Considering the world has over 6 billion people, an average separation of 6 seems unbelievable small, but the explanation of this incredible phenomenon lies in the makeup of our social network. Our close friends know each other but our cluster of friends has weak ties to other clusters through acquaintances, people we really don't know that well - that's why when one is looking for a job, it's better to tell an acquaintance rather than a friend so that our inquiry can jump to other clusters. Our social network is essentially highly clustered but enough links exist between these clusters to allow us to jump from ourselves to any other person through just an average of six links. Buchanan shows us how this kind of network exists everywhere as mentioned above although he distinguishes between egalitarian networks where clusters are roughly the same size and aristocratic networks such as the WWW where gigantic hubs like Amazon.com exist that link to millions of websites.
One of the most interesting chapters in the book deals with sexual networks. It turns out that in the network of sex partners, certain people have a great many more links than the average person in the network. Buchanan explains how the structure of the sexual network actually accounts for the rapid spread of HIV. The virus spread quickly because the hubs in the network spread it to their numerous partners. In fact, it turns out that a significant percentage of the inital HIV cases had a sexual relationship with one particular flight attendant.
As I wrote in my review for Strogatz's Sync, we are entering an era of science where disparate fields of study are being linked because many phenomena that we used to regard as unrelated now appear to have very similar underlying bases. It is exciting to read books like Nexus because it illustrates this point. You should definitely read this book if your are interested in the science of networks and want to know how so many different phenomena are being explained by the same underlying principles.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Six Degrees of seperation. 28. August 2002
Von M. Karakus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Actually, I bought this book with the intention of reading about genetics algorithms although I was pleasantly surprised with the out come of the book.

The book is about how our large world is small and what seems chaotic is actually an organized small network.

The author starts with how networks in nature relate to networks in technology. A very strong case for "6 degrees of separation" for our society and "19 degrees of (link) separation" for the Internet. The rest of the book explains with historical examples how scientists were able to prove the networking concepts through human decision and thought process.

I gave this book 4 star because I did not think that the conclusion had the continuity of the other chapters. I would recommend this book to all individuals who would be interested in reading and understanding the connections and influences of nature in our "connected" world.

Have fun understanding that you closer then you think to the person next door.
23 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen HIDDEN DESIGNS 6. September 2003
Von Peter Uys - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Buchanan points out the hidden networks that tie together both the physical world and the world of consciousness, showing that amongst other things the Internet, electrical grids, the brain and the global economy are all systems with an underlying pattern that shares nature's design.
Physics, biology and other sciences have uncovered a multitude of unexpected connections between the operation of the human world and the functioning of other seemingly unrelated things. Many networks that seemed to be random are turning out to have a hidden order as revealed by the discipline of Complexity Theory.
The most interesting sections are those on the Internet, on the spread of AIDS and on economic systems. The author's conclusion is that many aspects of the world are indeed simpler than they appear on the surface and that there is a hidden and powerful design that binds everything together.
This fascinating book confirms many of the findings that I have encountered in other titles like Beyond Chaos by Mark Ward and Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra. It concludes with a set of explanatory notes and a thorough index. Small World is a stimulating and thought provoking work.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Terrific book, Fascinating ideas 28. Juni 2002
Von Max Guyll - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In Nexus, Buchanan describes the behavior of complex network systems - things like the internet, the nervous system, and human social networks. But what is so intriguing is how he reveals how entirely different kinds of constituent phenomena can naturally develop into systems and networks that evidence very similar kinds of organization. That is, there seems to be a kind of essential architecture that naturally guides the evolution and growth of such structures. Nexus provides the reader with an understanding of the characteristics of this architecture and how it can explicate what would otherwise be considered bizarre and extraordinary events. By understanding the fundamental architecture of these systems, scientists are looking at how to apply it to real world problems- like how to stabilize ecosystems, or protect the internet from attack. The book is engaging, well-written, and informative. The ideas of Nexus will give readers an appreciation of "the big picture", and tip them off to the comparatively simple and elegant rules that guide vast systems and produce seemingly chaotic events.
In short, Nexus succeeds on all counts.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Illuminating Ideas 2. August 2005
Von Aristarchus - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book has some really interesting ideas, mostly pertaining to what mathematicians call "graph theory." My only criticism, which may be a positive thing for many people, is that there is no math in the book. This is a very readable book--something that you can quickly read on an airplane. Once you learn about the key "ideas," I recommend that you follow up with additional research to learn the mathematics behind the ideas. The author does seem a bit wordy about the "six degrees of separation" phenomenon. Even people as dumb as I am get the idea after hearing about it several times. The book is good, but it needs some mathematics to quantify the ideas.
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