The Power of Networks: Six Principles That Connect Our Lives
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An accessible illustrated introducton to the networks we use every day, from Facebook and Google to WiFi and the Internet
What makes WiFi faster at home than at a coffee shop? How does Google order search results? Why do Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube use fundamentally different rating and recommendation methods―and why does it matter? Is it really true that everyone on Facebook is connected in six steps or less? And how do cat videos―or anything else―go viral? The Power of Networks answers questions like these for the first time in a way that all of us can understand and use, whether at home, the office, or school. Using simple language, analogies, stories, hundreds of illustrations, and no more math than simple addition and multiplication, Christopher Brinton and Mung Chiang provide a smart but accessible introduction to the handful of big ideas that drive the technical and social networks we use every day―from cellular phone networks and cloud computing to the Internet and social media platforms.
The Power of Networks unifies these ideas through six fundamental principles of networking, which explain the difficulties in sharing network resources efficiently, how crowds can be wise or not so wise depending on the nature of their connections, how there are many building-blocks of layers in a network, and more. Understanding these simple ideas unlocks the workings of everything from the connections we make on Facebook to the technology that runs such platforms. Along the way, the authors also talk with and share the special insights of renowned experts such as Google's Eric Schmidt, former Verizon Wireless CEO Dennis Strigl, and "fathers of the Internet" Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.
Networks are everywhere. The Power of Networks shows how they work―and what understanding them can do for you.
"The Power of Networks is a nice book that I believe many readers will enjoy, especially readers interested in modern technology, engineering and innovation. For readers that are more mathematically inclined, it also does a nice job of explaining important topics from mathematics, such random graphs and the Watts-Strogatz theory, and what these ideas have to do with networks. If you have any interest in network theory at all, I recommend this book."---Jason M. Graham, MAA Reviews
"Authoritative but accessible. . . . Pitched perfectly at the reader with a background in technology who's interested in finding out more about the principles that underpin so much of daily life. . . . This isn’t a superficial book though, and the easily grasped comparisons lead on to an in-depth treatment, though without the maths of a full-blown text book."---Dominic Lenton, Engineering and Technology
"If your job demands it or if you're simply interested in learning about how networks function under the hood, [The Power of Networks] is a great introduction."---Tibi Puiu, ZME Science
"Using simple language, analogies, stories, hundreds of illustrations, and no more math than simple addition and multiplication, Christopher Brinton and Mung Chiang provide a smart but accessible introduction to the handful of big ideas that drive the technical and social networks we use every day--from cellular phone networks and cloud computing to the Internet and social media platforms." ― L'enseignement Mathematique
"Networks have played a powerful connective role in human societies since the dawn of agriculture. Brinton and Chiang document and analyze this phenomenon―and reinforce our appreciation of it."―Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer
"This insightful, readable book shows how the Internet of Things is being transformed, starting with connectivity. Whether you are a technology consumer or work in industry, this is the book for you."―Jeff G. Fedders, Chief Strategist, Intel Corporation, and President, OpenFog Consortium
"This book is a manual for citizenship in the twenty-first century, a world where networks help us find our place by sharing information about who we are, and about what we would like to do."―Robert Calderbank, Duke University
"As humans, we are ‘networked' by nature. Our bodies are networked from head to toe by the most sophisticated network that exists, and the value of networking was even understood by our ancestors as they began to network in order to hunt more efficiently. The Power of Networks explains how six basic networking principles connect our lives almost as an extension of our primordial instincts―but in more advanced ways than our ancestors could have imagined. It is an absolutely intriguing book."―Helder Antunes, Senior Director, Cisco's Corporate Strategic Innovations Group, and Chairman, OpenFog Consortium
- Publisher : Princeton University Press (October 4, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691170711
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691170718
- Item Weight : 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Overall well written with a good balance of high level concepts and depth.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone!
Very well written and I would highly recommend this book.
Authors Brinton and Chiang, begin with an overview of the cellular evolution and how it is a perfect example of how networks have struggled throughout the years to meet capacity demands of consumers. Then, they discuss how with WiFi, comes a different flavor of sharing than cellular: Rather than having stringent power control algorithms, WiFi relies on random access to manage interference among users in the same location. Also, the authors show you how so-called usage-based pricing schemes can send better feedback signals than flat-rate, "buffet" schemes leading to better sharing. They continue by answering two questions: How does Google rank webpages and make money from its advertising business. Then, the authors explore how Google ranks its standard webpage results to make searching as efficient and high quality as possible. Then, they explore the idea behind how products are ranked on Amazon. In addition, the authors turn to Netflix movie recommendations, where (rather than extracting one rating) they predict several ratings for each person. Next, they turn to situations where people learn from one another, with each bringing their own wisdom to the crowd. Then, the authors look at how YouTube viewing is a good example of dependences created by information spread.
Also, they continue with their theme of influence: This time paying more attention to the underlying graph of social networks. The authors then call for an efficient way of sharing the network resources, and a division of management responsibility (both geographically and functionality), so that the subparts can be tackled more easily. Then, they describe how different subnets of the Internet handle the important task of routing messages from one point to another in a scalable manner. Also, the authors show you how Internet devices use feedback provided from receivers to infer and manage congestion in the network. Finally, they continue by turning back to social networks, and look at how people can still be connected even at seemingly opposite ends of the network.
This excellent book describes the key ideas behind networking through storytelling, pictures, examples, and historical anecdotes. Many of the materials contained in this great book, have already been used to teach more than 100,000 students in a Massive Open Online Course.
I found this book THE most relevant book for the target audience of this course and this major. It covers a lot of critical aspects of our networked world in an elegant and non-technical manner. It includes technology, social, and economic concepts, and provides an integration with the daily life of the people using the networked services. I have got very positive feedback from the students as well, and I will definitely continue to use this book as the main textbook in the future.