Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 17, 2004 - Business & Economics - 374 pages

The pioneering young scientist whose work on the structure of small worlds has triggered an avalanche of interest in networks.

In this remarkable book, Duncan Watts, one of the principal architects of network theory, sets out to explain the innovative research that he and other scientists are spearheading to create a blueprint of our connected planet. Whether they bind computers, economies, or terrorist organizations, networks are everywhere in the real world, yet only recently have scientists attempted to explain their mysterious workings.

From epidemics of disease to outbreaks of market madness, from people searching for information to firms surviving crisis and change, from the structure of personal relationships to the technological and social choices of entire societies, Watts weaves together a network of discoveries across an array of disciplines to tell the story of an explosive new field of knowledge, the people who are building it, and his own peculiar path in forging this new science.

 

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User Review  - harrda - LibraryThing

This book is a very good introduction to the fascinating world of networked systems - from social groups to computer networks. Why does success breed success in some systems? What does it look like in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nocto - LibraryThing

A look at the maths behind the idea that there are 'six degreees of separation' and other networking theories. Interesting stuff and I like the fact that the author is not afraid to include plenty of ... Read full review

Contents

PREFACE
14
The Connected Age
20
The Origins of a New Science
44
Small Worlds
70
Beyond the Small World
102
Search in Networks
131
CHAPTER 6 Epidemics and Failures
163
Decisions Delusions
196
Thresholds Cascades
221
Innovation Adaptation
254
The End of the Beginning
291
The World Gets Smaller
308
BIBLIOGRAPHY
348
INDEX
364
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Duncan J. Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a founding member of the MSR-NYC lab. He is also an AD White Professor at Large at Cornell University. His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals including Nature, Science, the American Journal of Sociology, and the Harvard Business Review.

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