Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 17, 2004 - Science - 384 pages
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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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LibraryThing Review

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
13
The Connected Age
19
The Origins of a New Science
43
Small Worlds
69
Beyond the Small World
101
Search in Networks
130
Epidemics and Failures
162
Decisions Delusions
195
MARKET EXTERNALITIES
213
Thresholds Cascades
220
Innovation Adaptation
253
The End of the Beginning
290
The World Gets Smaller
307
FURTHER READING
313
BIBLIOGRAPHY
347
INDEX
363

COLLECTIVE DECISIONS
201
INFORMATION EXTERNALITIES
207

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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.

Bibliographic information