School and Workshop on Structure and Function of Complex Networks: first day

I’ll try to blog the entire School and Workshop on Structure and Function of Complex Networks. 12 days of great speakers. The school in ICTP, an UNESCO research center in Trieste. Since its mission is to foster advanced studies and research, especially in developing countries, there are many researchers from developing countries, as the list of participants shows. And tomorrow there will also be a special talk by UNESCO Director-General.
Following a short summary of the first day:

Very quick points:

Introductory Talk: Complex networks across disciplines
Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A.
Great talk, an introduction of Complex networks but a great introduction. Some of the questions he tried to cast: is this really new? Why is it so cool? Why is it so cool NOW? Well, now there is a great amount of data available (previously the data were available only via surveys with real people and so were scarse). A paper by Moreno (1934) is the first about this stuff: sociogram. He wrote a quotation about physicists being an hungry pack invading other disciplines (I need to get the slides so that I can cite it precisely). He also said something about the “complex” word: that is different from complicated but refers to complexity al all scales (geometric, infinite susceptibility, diverging fluctuations). An airplane is complex (lot of pieces) but there is a central authority that controls how to design and assemble it. Internet is simple but there is no central authority…
What is the success of the workshop? It depends on the number of good questions we are going to pose to the future! That is a good approach!!

Growing networks (I and II)
Jose Fernando F. MENDES
Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Really too complicated for my math ability and he gave a lot of concepts as granted (maybe they are for other people, since most of them are physicists but they were not for me). Anyway very interesting.

Random graphs
A survey on random graphs, very interesting but totally overlapping with Linked (the book by Barabasi) that I already read. Something very funny was the network of Italian Ministers which Ginestra said she played with. She showed it to us and showed how you can pictiorally detect the berlusconi clique.

Percolation on networks
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Very interestin talk, more abstract than the ones before, but I’m too late for the buffet for commentig on it. Maybe later…

Note for myself:
Some questions I want to try to get an idea about:
– Conflict with sociologists in past? In future? (people here are mainly physicists)
– Long tail economy?
– Directed Weighted Networks: how do they change everything?
– What best open source tool to quickly play with nets, powerlaws, …?
– What when a nodes dies? What when an edge dies?
– Assertative? Disassertative?
– Do you have any question?

Next post about distribution in nations of participants, but now I’m off for the buffeeeeeeeet!

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