Professor Barabási’s talk described how the tools of network science can help understand the Web’s structure, development and weaknesses. The Web is an information network, in which the nodes are documents (at the time of writing over one trillion of them), connected by links. Other well-known network structures include the Internet, a physical network where the nodes are routers and the links are physical connections, and organizations, where the nodes are people and the links represent communications.
As a result of studying these networks, Barabási argued that we have seen the emergence of network science, which overlaps with Web science. Network science is an attempt to understand networks emerging in nature, technology and society using a unified set of tools and principles. Despite apparent differences, many networks emerge and evolve, driven by a fundamental set of laws and mechanisms, and these are the province of network science.
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