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Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World [Hardcover]

David Easley , Jon Kleinberg
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 19, 2010 0521195330 978-0521195331
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.

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Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World + Social and Economic Networks + Networks: An Introduction
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

Check out this review: Read Suite 101's Review Here.

"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

"This is a fun book. It offers a feast learning curve without confusing the reader with technical details, and it opens a great and timely perspective on dynamical processes in social systems. Easley, an economist, and Kleinberg, a computer scientist, accomplish the difficult task of making the subject available to students from basically any field without being superficial... a hot pick for interested students and researchers new to the interdisciplinary field of complex networks."
Dirk Brockmann, Physics Today

Book Description

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.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521195330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521195331
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(11)
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage promoting intuitive understanding October 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I've been working through this book over the past three months and I have to say that it is one of the best books that I have read all year. It covers a wide range of topics related to markets, networks and crowd behavior and each section generally begins with a simple model to gain an initial understanding of the behavior of a particular situation, which is then progressively elaborated to reveal deeper insights. The models are continually compared to real world situations and discussion of the models helps to deepen your understanding of why some results which at first appear counter-intuitive, make sense. The exercises at the end of each chapter are just hard enough to test your understanding of the material, while still being easy enough to know whether your answers make sense. In the end, you are left with a more intuitive understanding of the phenomena and situations discussed encouraging deeper insight into how the world works. What is also interesting is the range of applicability of these models: from auctions and epidemics, to information cascades, building markets for new products, seeing how innovations spread through a population as well as network properties that block such spreading. The level of mathematics required to understand the models is not complex; basically a student in their final year of high school could follow most of the mathematics of the models. Having worked through this book, I feel more motivated to tackle more abstract treatments of Network Science, and I have also decided to explore some of the topics presented in greater depth (e.g. cascades)
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro March 30, 2011
By Antonio
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent introduction by two outstanding researchers. It introduces basic concepts on several fields (networks, game theory) together, in a way that no textbook does -in this era of over-specialization, a breadth of fresh air. Even though it minimizes formulas (it is directed to a general undergraduate audience) it does not abandon *rigor*, providing nice proofs of basic results. Very highly recommended to those who want/need an introduction to networks -even experts could probably learn a thing or two.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top pick for college-level sociology collections! October 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World offers a college-level text surveying the connectedness of modern society, from the Internet to global communication, the spread of news and information, and more. It considers the networks and behaviors of groups of people that evolve from such connections and provides undergrads with a textbook considering the economics, sociology, computing and other factors of networks and behavior patterns. A top pick for college-level sociology collections!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Random
Format:Hardcover
Simply superb !!! Lucid and engaging explanations. A great introduction to graph theory and its social network applications. If you're interested in networks, this is the first read for you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will remain influential for years to come December 15, 2012
Format:Hardcover
I would like to add to the posted reviews that this book explains concepts in a gentle way. It is a forgiving textbook to which one can return randomly and recover his or her mind-state fairly quickly.

Yet, it is very powerful, as it introduces concepts which are fundamental to the modern thinking. It has a potential of becoming as influential as Pauling's "The Nature of the Chemical Bond" was for chemists.

Let ms speculate that this book is an example of why America's scientific and technological leadership was bound to continue, as long as most of best world's books should appear in English first, and it would take 5-10 years for those to get identified, translated, and published elsewhere. There is simply no way to lead, without teams of people educated on books like this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro February 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a nice introductory book to network ideas and some basic math concepts for network analysis. The math is made very easy and intelligible. There are lots of examples of real networks that have been studied. I think it makes for a good undergraduate textbook.
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