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S-114.220 Research Seminar on Computational Science

Special Topic: Complex Networks


The second topic of S-114.220 in spring 2005 is

Complex Networks (3 cr) L,V

Dr Jari Saramäki (LCE)
The course is multidisciplinary and combines both theory and practice. The material mainly consists of research articles. The course requires active participation. Each participant is required to present a short talk on a chosen topic/paper, and complete a number of exercises.
Basic mathematical skills (probability and statistics, differential equations, matrix algebra) help to get the most out of the course. Some knowledge of programming (C, Fortran, Matlab, Java, or practically any language) is required to complete some of the exercises. We try to provide a wide enough variety of topics and exercises so that students with various backgrounds and skills can contribute.
Place and time
Period: March-April 2005, weekly sessions. FIRST LECTURE AND SIGNING IN: MONDAY 7.3.2005, 10:00 @ ROOM B317, INNOPOLI 2. See Otaniemi Map and information therein for information on how to get to Innopoli 2. Once you are there, the III-rd floor map may be useful to find the lecture room B317 or E332.


The network approach to complex systems has turned out to be extremely fruitful during the last years, revealing general principles applicable to a large number of systems. Examples of these systems include the Internet, the protein interaction and metabolic networks inside living cells, as well as social networks. In this approach, diverse systems are viewed as networks, so that the interacting elements such as proteins are described by the network vertices and their interactions and/or relationships by the edges connecting the vertices. The main strength of this approach is its ability to capture the essential features of the complex systems in question by utilizing relatively simple building blocks, the edges and vertices, and then deriving system-level properties from their relationships.

Studies of the characteristics of networks have produced several novel, unexpected findings such as the very short average vertex-to-vertex distances often encountered in natural networks (the small-world property), the ubiquity of scale-free network topologies, and the frequent appearance of high clustering and hierarchy. Many seemingly distant natural and man-made networks share similar properties and obey similar laws of organization. This also applies to processes taking place on such networks - e.g., the dynamics of epidemic spreading of biological or electronic viruses and rumour spreading on social networks.

During this seminar, we will go through some of the most important research papers in this novel and exciting field of science. Each student will give a presentation on the chosen paper(s); the list of topics will appear here in the near future. In addition to presentations, there will be exercises to be solved, comprising analytical calculations and programming/simulation exercises.


Dr Jari Saramäki
Jari.Saramaki at

Maintained by jari.saramaki at
Last updated 14.01.2005