INF 385T - Special Topics in Information Science: Introduction to Social & Information Networks

Fall 2015
Unique ID: 27805
Room: SRH 3.124
Days:  Thur
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Graduate standing. Additional prerequisites may vary with the topic.

Study of the properties and behavior of information. Technology for information processing and management.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Instructor: Varun Rai

INF Cross-Listing of P A 393L, offered by the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Networks are ubiquitous in the natural, social, and technical worlds. What is the nature of these networks? How to characterize and understand them? How do information and technology flow over networks? How does the structure of the underlying networks mediate flow of information among a social group? What role do networks play in shaping outcomes in the social and economic worlds? Concepts and methods to formulate, quantify, and analyze these questions will be discussed. This course is intended for first and second year Masters students and Ph.D. students.

Topics to be covered include: Graphs and networks; Individual decision-making (agent-agent interactions) and strategic interactions; Online networks; Population effects and information cascades; Small world networks; Epidemic models; Markets and information; Networks and the structure of social institutions.

Textbook: Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About A Highly Connected World, by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg. The book is available at:

Additional readings: Relevant material from the textbook for each unit will be augmented with 2-3 additional readings, typically highly accessible and relevant journal articles selected by the instructor.

Topic Description:
Introduction to Social & Information Networks

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