Strategic Behavior and the Science of Social Networks
The modern ability to carefully measure large-scale social networks has driven new empirical studies and theoretical models of growth, dynamics, influence, and collective behavior in such systems. This emerging science is inherently interdisciplinary, with key contributions coming from sociologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, and economists.
While much of the empirical investigation so far has focused on documenting social network structure or topology, less is understood about how topology *matters* --- that is, in what ways social network structure influences behavior and collective outcomes. In this talk I will survey some of the progress on this topic, particularly in settings in which there is some kind of strategic or economic interaction taking place in the network. I will illustrate some of the concepts with results from an extensive series of human-subject experiments in networked interaction conducted at Penn.