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.
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 an..