Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202001045
Social Network Structure and Dynamics
Course info
Course module202001045
Credits (ECTS)6.5
Course typeStudy Unit
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact M.J. van Sinderen
PreviousNext 5
N. Bouali
dr. F.A. Bukhsh
dr. D.V. Le Viet Duc
J. M. Meylahn
C. Morais Fonseca
Academic year2022
Starting block
RemarksTCS students register in Osiris. Others contact . Minor students: register for the minor!
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Learning goal is to be able to  recognize and explain network phenomena. Social networks such as Facebook, information networks such as the Web, and institutions such as voting are all IT-enabled. The student will learn:
  • how to recognize and explain structural and dynamic phenomena in these networks, such as cascading behavior and power laws, and
  • how to model and analyze using graph theory and game theory.
After following this module, the student is able to:
  • Recognize these phenomena in practice;
  • Apply mathematical models from graph theory, probability, and game theory to describe and analyze them;
  • Explain and predict network phenomena in terms of network structure and behavior;
  • Operationalize and apply these models to existing network data.
In this study unit of the module Web Science we focus on the topics: graphs and social networks, information networks, and network dynamics.
The study unit Social Network Structure and Dynamics of the module Web Science covers the following topics:
  • Graphs and Social Networks
We study basic graph theory concepts such as components, triadic closure, strong and weak ties, homophily (similarity between 'friends') and positive and negative relationships. These concepts are put to work on modeling network data such as collaborations, information linkage, citation, interactions, etc. Students will be able to understand and model network data as graphs, and develop algorithms for analyzing basic graph properties of large volumes of network data (big data).
  • Information Networks
Our goal is to understand the structure of information networks on the internet that emerges from citation, liking, commenting, co-authoring, connection with 'friends', hypertext linking, etc. We study properties such as reputation, authority and relevance of web pages and persons. Students will learn to model, understand, and analyze such informational properties in terms of graph theory concepts.
  • Network Dynamics – Population Models and Structural Models
We study how people connected in a network influence each other’s behaviour and decisions. First we consider population models which help us to understand informational (or herding) effects and direct-benefit (or network) effects in social processes, and apply this knowledge to analyze the notion of popularity. Then we consider structural models to understand diffusion of information through groups of people, as opposed to a homogeneous population, and explain the small world phenomenon. Students will learn how to model and analyze the processes by which new ideas and innovations are adopted by a population in which groups of people are connected by very short paths.
Assumed previous knowledge
Some experience with programming, specifically Python.
Module 8D
Participating study
Bachelor Technical Computer Science
Required materials
David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World. ISBN: 978-0-521-19533-1. The book can be downloaded from
Recommended materials
Instructional modes

Project unsupervised


Self study without assistance


Theoretical Knowledge

Practical Knowledge and Skills

Kies de Nederlandse taal