Are all film stars linked to Kevin Bacon? Why do the stock markets rise and fall sharply on the strength of a vague rumour? How does gossip spread so quickly? Are we all related through six degrees of separation? There is a growing awareness of the complex networks that pervade modern society. We see them in the rapid growth of the Internet, the ease of global communication, the swift spread of news and information, and in the way epidemics and financial crises develop with startling speed and intensity. This introductory book on the new science of networks takes an interdisciplinary approach, using economics, sociology, computing, information science and applied mathematics to address fundamental questions about the links that connect us, and the ways that our decisions can have consequences for others.
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