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Network Science from an IT and US Army Perspective

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1 Author(s)

Network science provides fundamental knowledge of complex networks and how they work. These networks might be natural (biological), technological, or social in nature - or could be combinations of these types. From an information technology perspective, NS can provide a formal, scientific understanding of the social and cognitive aspects of electronic data networks, which for the most part have been only marginally acknowledged and informally addressed. We must consider the following points when seeking to understand NS: Fundamental knowledge about the properties of complex networks is primitive. An important NS goal is prediction of a network's future behavior as a whole as well as of its components individually. An electronic data network is a kind of technological network, of which the Internet provides a pervasive example. Cognition is the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. NS researchers often rely on the concept of centrality from graph theory. Various measures of a vertex's centrality within a network's graph representation determine the relative importance of the vertex, which might represent a person in a social network, a node in a technological network, and other points of interest in other kinds of networks. Written from a computer network defense (CND) perspective, this work is meant to raise awareness among information technologists of NS's value to technological networks. It also highlights NS activities by the US Army to form an alliance of government, industrial, and academic institutions in the study of NS and associated grand challenges.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 12 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2008

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