# Team 3: Social and communication networks

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 10:20am - 10:40am

EE/CS 3-180

Eric van den Berg (Telcordia)

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*Project Description:*

In recent years, the structure of complex networks has become

object of intense study by scientists from various disciplines;

see e.g. [1], [2] and [3], or the book-form paper collection

[4]. One often studied mechanism of growth and evolution in

such networks, e.g. social networks, is preferential attachment

[2]. In communications network engineering, network protocols

have been modeled mathematically using tools from optimization

[5] and game theory [6]. A picture has emerged of layered

networks (modeled as graphs) where each layer of the whole acts

non-cooperatively, implicitly optimizing its own objective,

treating other network layers largely as a black box. The

network layers interact dynamically, and implicit cooperation

towards a common overall objective is achieved by a suitable,

modular decomposition of tasks to the individual layers.

In this project, we will focus on the interaction between

social networks and communication networks. Given the

communication network, how do social networks grow and evolve?

Does preferential attachment account for the structure

observed? How do communication networks and their (often

protocol-induced) ‘preferences’ affect the structure of social

networks, and vice versa? We will use mathematics

(optimization, game theory, graph theory) and computer

simulation to investigate these questions.

*Prerequisites:*

Background: Optimization, Probability, Differential Equations.

Computer skills: Matlab, R, Python.

*References:*

[1] M.E. Newman, The Structure and Function of Complex

Networks, SIAM Review, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 167-256, 2003.

[2] L.-A. Barabasi, R. Albert, Emergence of Scaling in Random

Networks, Science, Vol. 286, No. 5439, pp. 509-512, 1999.

[3] D.J. Watts, The ‘New’ Science of Networks, Ann. Rev.

Sociology Vol. 30, pp. 243-270, 2004.

[4] M.E. Newman, L.-A. Barabasi, D.J. Watts, The Structure and

Dynamics of Networks, Princeton, 2006.

[5] M. Chiang, S.H. Low, A.R. Calderbank and J.C. Doyle,

Layering as Optimization Decomposition: A Mathematical Theory

of Network Architectures, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 95,

No. 1, pp. 255-312, January 2007

[6] E. Altman, T. Boulogne, R. El-Azouzi, T. Jimenez and L.

Wynter, A Survey of Networking Games in Telecommunications,

Computers and Operations Research, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 286-311,

2006.

MSC Code:

81P45

Keywords: