The behaviour of networks

Posted by  chandni —November 5, 2008
Filed in Business storytelling, Culture

Here’s a great ABC documentary on Network Theory: How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer.


It illustrates the six degrees of separation phenomenon using the idea of synchronization, the paradox of small worlds, bacon numbers – a game showing how every hollywood actor is linked to Kevin Bacon, the structure of the internet and its hubs, how Sadaam Hussian was caught by disrupting the hubs in his network, and finally a network map of all the human diseases.

Some interesting characteristics of networks they talk about:

  • It’s important to understand who is listening to whom in a network
  • Events are not isolated; we need to understand how they interact
  • Adding a random link can have an enormous impact on the network
  • Networks are not random; they have a structure and behaviour (or pattern of behaviour)

And one really good question: How can we shrink the pathways in our network to make it more connected?

Thanks Catherine for sharing the link.

About  chandni

2 Responses to “The behaviour of networks”

  1. Robyn Says:

    I watched this last week and was really impressed. The program demonstrated the concepts perfectly by showing how several different researchers on networks in different disciplines found each other and shared their findings through co-operation and collaboration. Excellent work.

  2. Nerida Hart Says:

    Chandni – great piece of work – we are even having a lunchtime viewing for staff today given the importance of understanding networks for our organisation – Nerida

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