SI 614 Networks: Theory and Application


SI 614 home

All readings, assignments, etc. will be posted to the course ctools website


problem sets

student projects

software tools for the class

other software tools

related courses


Winter 2006:

Lectures will be
Mondays and Wednesdays
from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.
in 409 West Hall

Office hours:
Tuesday 5-6 pm and
Friday 11 am - 12 pm
in 3082 West Hall




This course will cover topics in network analysis, from social networks to applications in information networks such as the internet. We will introduce basic concepts in network theory, discuss metrics and models, use software analysis tools to experiment with a wide variety of real-world network data, and study applications to areas such as information retrieval. For their final project, the students will choose between applying the concepts learned in class to networks of interest to them or designing and evaluating algorithms or models for artificial or well studied networks.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, but interested students should complete the self-assessment on the course web site to determine whether they are ready for the course.

Reading: Reading materials will be available on cTools.

Instructor: Lada Adamic, office hours Tuesday 5-6 pm, Friday 11am -12 pm

This course is now part of University of Michigan's Open Educational Resources initiative. You are free to use these materials (I encourage you to do so), but please use the OER version.

Course Syllabus (preliminary) -click on icon to download PowerPoint slides

Mon 1/9 What is a network? Survey of social networks studied: friendship, dating, needle sharing, boards of directors, co authorship, terrorist…
Wed 1/11 basic network metrics, intro to Pajek
Wed 1/18

network visualization tools (PS 1 due)
data sampling methods, clustering

Mon 1/23 BFS & DFS (we'll be using slides by Prof. Plaisted at UNC: and )
Wed 1/25 Milgram’s small world experiment,
Watts-Strogatz small world model (PS 2 due)
Mon 1/30

Zipf's Law & fat tails, plotting & fitting distributions

Wed 2/1 random graphs, preferential attachment model (PS 3 due)
Mon 2/6 centrality, betweenness, strength of weak ties (slides mostly by Prof. James Moody)
Wed 2/8 homophily, exploratory network analysis: homepages , Club Nexus , political blogs (PS 4 due)
Mon 2/13 network analysis with GUESS (slides mostly by Eytan Adar) (project proposals due)
Wed 2/15 structural similarity, motifs example: metabolic networks (PS 5 due)
Mon 2/20 directed & weighted networks, minimum spanning trees, flow
Wed 2/22 networks over time (take home midterm)
---- break ----
Mon 3/6 Prof. Dragomir Radev guest lecture ranking algorithms: PageRank, HITS, and network IR
Wed 3/8 search in structured networks (PS 6 due)
Mon 3/13 search in unstructured networks example: peer-to-peer networks
Wed 3/15 community structure (PS 7 due)
Mon 3/20 clustering algorithms
Wed 3/22 Prof. Gavin Clarkson guest lecture : patent thickets and patent pools (project status report due)
Mon 3/27 network construction, robustness example: power grid, internet backbone
Wed 3/29 Prof. Mark Newman guest lecture: the mathematics of networks (PS 8 due)
Mon 4/3 epidemics in networks example: email viruses, needle sharing & airline (slides by Alessandro Vespignani)
Wed 4/5 information diffusion example: boards of directors networks (slides by Jerry Davis: Golfing alone) (PS 9 due)
Mon 4/10 online communities (blogs, Friendster, FOAF)
Wed 4/12 student presentations
Mon 4/17 student presentations
Mon 4/24 final project reports due