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2010-09-13

watts_2004_journal

CITATION: Watts, Duncan J. 2004. "The 'New' Science of Networks." Annual Review of Sociology 30: 243-270.

AUTHOR_1: Duncan J. Watts
YEAR: 2004
TITLE: The New Science of Networks
SOURCE: Journal
SOURCE_TITLE: Annual Review of Sociology

SUMMARY: The author introduces and defines the “new” science of networks, in terms of its theoretical differences with the existing tradition of social network studies in sociology, and through the use of a number of examples. The new science of networks focuses on the development of simple parametric models that are able to replicate the properties of empirical networks, social and otherwise. Small-world networks are defined and discussed. The Watts-Strogatz model, Generalized Small-World Networks, Generalized Affiliation Networks, BA models, and SIR models are described, including their parameterization, and major findings concerning each are briefly discussed. The concept of scale-free networks is introduced and tied to the development of generalized models of network structure, and the properties of these networks are listed. Methodological and theoretical challenges for the study of empirical small-world networks are enumerated. Three elementary applications of the new science of networks are detailed: 1.) the introduction of network models to the study of the spread of disease, 2.) the study of social contagion, and 3.) the study of network robustness. The author concludes by reflecting on the need for sociologists to remain active in the increasingly computational field of new network science.

REVIEWER: jrh

LABELS_FULL: 2004, journal, review of field, reviewed, jrh, new science of networks, Watts-Strogatz model, BA model, generalized small-world networks, BA model, SIR model, scale-free network, small-world network, network robustness, social contagion

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