Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Theory of Networks

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2003 - Science - 240 pages
4 Reviews
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As Chaos explained the science of disorder, Nexus reveals the new science of connection and the odd logic of six degrees of separation.

"If you ever wanted to know how many links connect you and the Pope, or why when the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank sneezes the global economy catches cold, read this book," writes John L. Casti (Santa Fe Institute). This "cogent and engaging" (Nature) 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. Mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, and social scientists are working to decipher this complex organizational system, for it may yield a blueprint of dynamic interactions within our physical as well as social worlds.

Highlighting groundbreaking research behind network theory, "Mark Buchanan's graceful, lucid, nontechnical and entertaining prose" (Mark Granovetter) documents the mounting support among 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. Nexus is an exciting introduction to the hidden geometry that weaves our lives so inextricably together.

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NEXUS: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks

User Review  - Kirkus

Former Nature editor Buchanan (Ubiquity, 2001) takes an intriguing, accessible look at the mathematics behind the "six degrees of separation" theory.In 1998, Cornell mathematician Duncan Watts was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - neurodrew - LibraryThing

The subtitle of this book is small worlds and the emerging science of networks. The author is very impressed by the observation that it takes only a few steps across a social network, or in neural ... Read full review


Strange Connections
The Strength of Weak Ties
Small Worlds
Brain Works
The SmallWorld Web
An Accidental Science
The Rich Get Richer
Costs and Consequences
The Tangled Web
Tipping Points
Breaking Out SmallWorld Style
Laws for the Living
Beyond Coincidence

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About the author (2003)

Mark Buchanan is a science writer and holds a doctorate in physics. He has been an editor at Nature and New Scientist. He lives in France.

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