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The world has become highly interconnected and hence more complex than ever before. We are surrounded by a multitude of networks in our daily life, for example, friendship networks, online social networks, world wide web, road networks etc. All these networks are today available online in the form of graphs which hold a whole lot of hidden information. They encompass surprising secrets which have been time and again revealed with the help of tools like graph theory, sociology, game theory etc. The study of these graphs and revelation of their properties with these tools have been termed as Social Network Analysis.
 
Some of the surprising observations and beautiful discoveries achieved with Social Network Analysis are listed below.
6 degrees of separation: You can reach out to any person on this earth within an average of 6 hops. That means, "You know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Justin Beiber (or Angelina Jolie or literally anyone on this planet.)".
The algorithm behind Google search: How does Google achieve such precise and valid search results? The underlying algorithm is fairly simple and relies totally on the network of web pages.
How do you get your dream job: Not through your best friends but through your acquaintances to whom you talk relatively less frequently! Sounds counterintuitive.
Link prediction: Can one predict who is going to be your next Facebook friend, or which product are you going to buy next on Flipkart, or which is the next movie you are going to watch on Netflix? Yes, it is possible.
Viral Marketing: Want to make your new product sell out quickly? How do you determine the people to whom you should be giving the free samples? Does that even matter?
Contagion: Not only information but happiness, obesity, altruism, depression all spread from person to person.
 

Week

Topics

1.


Introduction

2.

 Handling Real-world Network Datasets

3.


Strength of Weak Ties

4.

Strong and Weak Relationships (Continued) & Homophily

5.


Homophily Continued and +Ve / -Ve Relationships

6.


Link Analysis

7.


Cascading Behaviour in Networks

8.


Link Analysis (Continued)

9.


Power Laws and Rich-Get-Richer Phenomena

10.


Power law (contd..) and Epidemics

11.


Small World Phenomenon

12.


Pseudocore (How to go viral on web)

The course doesn’t assume any pre-requisites. We expect one has undergone a first course in basic programming. 


1. Networks, Crowds and Markets by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, Cambridge University Press, 2010
(available for free download).
2. Social and Economic Networks by Matthew O. Jackson, Princeton University Press, 2010.



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