Synopses & Reviews
Over the past decade there has been a growing public fascination with the complex connectedness of modern society. This connectedness is found in many incarnations: in the rapid growth of the Internet, in the ease with which global communication takes place, and in the ability of news and information as well as epidemics and financial crises to spread with surprising speed and intensity. These are phenomena that involve networks, incentives, and the aggregate behavior of groups of people; they are based on the links that connect us and the ways in which our decisions can have subtle consequences for others. This introductory undergraduate textbook takes an interdisciplinary look at economics, sociology, computing and information science, and applied mathematics to understand networks and behavior. It describes the emerging field of study that is growing at the interface of these areas, addressing fundamental questions about how the social, economic, and technological worlds are connected.
"The field of information networks is an emerging discipline of immense importance that combines graph theory, probability and statistics, microeconomics and facets of the social sciences. Easley and Kleinberg present a panoramic view of this field, from basic graph theory all the way to the state of the art in research."
Prabhakar Raghavan, Head of Yahoo! Labs
"Networks are everywhere, in our social lives, in our economic relations, and in nature; they are now finally arriving to our classrooms. Easley and Kleinberg have written a masterful introduction to networks. This book successfully combines the game theoretic and algorithmic approaches to the study of social, economic and communication networks. It is lively, interesting, readable and accessible. It is a pleasure to teach using this book and never a dull moment for the students."
Daron Acemoglu, Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The first college-level text on network science, it should be a big hit for students in economics and business."
Stan Wasserman, Rudy Professor of Statistics, Psychology, and Sociology, Indiana University
"In this remarkable book, David Easley and Jon Kleinberg bring all the tools of computer science, economics, and sociology to bear on one of the great scientific challenges of our time: understanding the structure, function, and dynamics of networks in society. Clearly written and covering an impressive range of topics, "Networks, Crowds, and Markets" is the ideal starting point for any student aspiring to learn the fundamentals of the emerging field of network science."
Duncan Watts, Principal Research Scientist, Yahoo! Research, and author of Six Degrees: The Science of A Connected Age
"David Easley and Jon Kleinberg have given us a totally new kind of basic economics text, where students learn how to analyze social networks and crowds as well as games and markets. This book covers a remarkable range of topics and offers a broad new vision of what economics can be about."
Roger Myerson, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics
"In my three decades plus of teaching, I cannot recall an urge to teach a new undergraduate course like the one I felt upon leafing through this wonderful introduction to everything that is new and important and intellectually challenging in our world."
Christos Papadimitriou, C. Lester Hogan Professor of EECS, University of California, Berkeley
"The elegant explanations in this book allow readers to rapidly gain a deep understanding of how networks work. Without resorting to either advanced math or even a bit of hand-waving, Easley and Kleinberg take us through the essential concepts and intriguing real-world applications."
Professor Lada Adamic, School of Information and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan
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"This unusual range of topics is what makes this book invaluable. Instead of just focusing on abstract mathematical models and their formal properties, it puts models in their proper place within a process that begins with empirical observations, leads to mathematical models, is followed by some predictions, and is then subject to experimental validation that starts the cycle anew. In the meantime, one reasons about the connected world around us, discovers some facts, gets some insight into the behavior of complex systems, and even enjoys some "aha!" moments. The book is a pleasure to read."
Fernando Berzal, Computing Reviews
"The book is clearly written and produced to the quality you can expect from CUP. This important and inspiring book must not be missing from the computer scientist's bookshelf in the 21st century, be it because they ought to be teaching the material to their students as an academic, be it because they are a practitioner who want a fundamental understanding of the methods they may already deploy, and how they relate to other areas."
Jochen L. Leidner
"This excellent book by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, both at Cornell University, is an interdisciplinary work that is well placed to channel and challenge the enthusiasm we have today for all things networked. It covers a wide range of theoretical and practical topics that effectively define the operation of networks, our relationship with them and the behaviours that they engender.Far from being a terse, technical analysis, this is an elegant and engaging examination of the subject. Game theory, for example, suddenly gains a whole new interest when discussed, as it is here, in terms of the behaviour of buyers and sellers in an online auction - a subject that will appeal to the inner geek in those readers seeking to understand the "deep magic" of the process."
John Gilbey, Times Higher Education
"Networks, Crowds, and Markets is an exceptional book."
George K. Thiruvathukal, IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering
"This text offers an integrated, but not superficial, introduction to these new mathematical concepts and their application across a range of social problems. Each section provides rigorous proofs of key results and rich references to the literature, while remaining accessible to the undergraduate with only a high school mathematics background. It also holds great promise for people with a strong background in another field who wish to understand some of the key questions addressed by the social sciences."
H. Van Dyke Parunak, Computing Reviews
"Networks, Crowds, and markets offers students an excellent opportunity to relate enduring conceptual material, taught in numerous traditional courses, to their fast-paced and ever-changing world. Typically, textbooks have not often done so. This work serves, therefore, not only as motivation for students to appreciate the beauty of the abstract, but also as a model for what textbooks might become in the near future."
Sandra L. Arlinghaus, Mathematical Reviews
Reveals the interdisciplinary field of networks, which changes how we look at social, financial and technological interactions in modern society.
This introductory undergraduate textbook draws on economics, sociology, computing and information science, and applied mathematics to understand networks and behavior. It describes the emerging field of study that is growing at the interface of these areas, addressing fundamental questions about how the phenomena of the connectedness of modern society involve networks, incentives, and the aggregate behavior of groups of people.
About the Author
David Easley is the Henry Scarborough Professor of Social Science and a Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He was previously an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. His research is in the fields of economics, finance, and decision theory. In economics, he focuses on learning, wealth dynamics, and natural selection in markets. In finance, his work focuses on market microstructure and asset pricing. In decision theory, he works on modeling decision making in complex environments. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and a member of the NASDAQ-OMX Economic Advisory Board.Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other online media. He is the recipient of MacArthur, Packard, and Sloan Foundation Fellowships; the Nevanlinna Prize; the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award; and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research.
Table of Contents
1. Overview; Part I. Graph Theory and Social Networks: 2. Graphs; 3. Strong and weak ties; 4. Networks in their surrounding contexts; 5. Positive and negative relationships; Part II. Game Theory: 6. Games; 7. Evolutionary game theory; 8. Modeling network traffic using game theory; 9. Auctions; Part III. Markets and Strategic Interaction in Networks: 10. Matching markets; 11. Network models of markets with intermediaries; 12. Bargaining and power in networks; Part IV. Information Networks and the World Wide Web: 13. The structure of the Web; 14. Link analysis and Web search; 15. Sponsored search markets; Part V. Network Dynamics: Population Models: 16. Information cascades; 17. Network effects; 18. Power laws and rich-get-richer phenomena; Part VI. Network Dynamics: Structural Models: 19. Cascading behavior in networks; 20. The small-world phenomenon; 21. Epidemics; Part VII. Institutions and Aggregate Behavior: 22. Markets and information; 23. Voting; 24. Property.