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  • © 2009

Weak Links

The Universal Key to the Stability of Networks and Complex Systems

Authors:

  • Contains ideas essential for stabilizing systems and societies in crisis

  • A fascinating interdisciplinary book with wide-ranging implications in many scientific fields

  • Includes supplementary material: sn.pub/extras

Part of the book series: The Frontiers Collection (FRONTCOLL)

Buying options

eBook
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-540-31157-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxii
  2. Why Do We Like Networks?

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 5-52
  3. Network Stability

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 53-100
  4. Weak Links as Stabilizers of Complex Systems

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 101-116
  5. Atoms, Molecules and Macromolecules

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 117-130
  6. Weak Links and Cellular Stability

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 131-162
  7. Weak Links and the Stability of Organisms

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 163-185
  8. Social Nets

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 187-223
  9. Networks of Human Culture

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 225-248
  10. The Global Web

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 249-269
  11. The Ecoweb

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 271-283
  12. Conclusions and Perspectives

    • Peter Csermely
    Pages 285-322
  13. Back Matter

    Pages 1-81

About this book

How can our societies be stabilized in a crisis?  Why can we enjoy and understand Shakespeare? Why are fruitflies uniform? How do omnivorous eating habits aid our survival? What makes the Mona Lisa’s smile beautiful? How do women keep our social structures intact? – Could there possibly be a single answer to all these questions? This book shows that the statement: "weak links stabilize complex systems" provides the key to understanding each of these intriguing puzzles, and many others too. The author (recipient of several distinguished science communication prizes) uses weak (low affinity, low probability) interactions as a thread to introduce a vast variety of networks from proteins to economics and ecosystems. Many people, from Nobel Laureates to high-school students have helped to make the book understandable to all interested readers. This unique book and the ideas it develops will have a significant impact on many, seemingly diverse, fields of study.

A very personal, engaging, and unique book that will appeal to readers and get them thinking

Steve Strogatz

An adventurous, entertainingly eclectic and rich work both for experts and laymen

László-Albert Barabási

This masterpiece should serve as an example of how science can be discussed

György Buzsáki

Outstanding - I wish more books were written this way

Daniel J. Bilar

Keywords

  • Ecosystem stability
  • Network dynamics
  • Protein folding
  • Psychological traits
  • Social networks
  • communication
  • ecosystem
  • proteins
  • Proteomics

Reviews

Opinions

"This is an excellent book, which shows the far-reaching consequences of the great variety of weak links. The book has a proper balance between a scientific monograph and a popular approach, and mixes humor with sharp intellect. "Weak Links" is an adventurous, entertainingly eclectic and rich work both for the experts and laymen." (Lászlo-Albert Barabási, Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, author of the bestseller book, Linked and the 1999 seminal Science paper on the preferential attachment model of scale-free network topology.)

"You have written a very personal, engaging, and unique book that will appeal to readers and get them thinking." (Steve Strogatz, Dept. of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, author of Sync and the 1998 seminal Nature paper on small worlds.)

"You have done a great service by making the world of networks understandable and clear. I will use your book in my classes." (Caroline S. Wagner, Center of International Science & Technology Policy, George Washington University, author of several science policy-related books including the an upcoming work on the international collaboration in science)

"This book links an exceptionally large number of areas and gives exciting novel information to both the network experts and the science-orinted general readership." (Tamás Vicsek, Dept. Biological Physics, Eötvös University, author of several network-related Nature papers including a method to determine overlapping network modules)

"This masterpiece should serve as an example how science can be discussed. Entertaining yet thought provoking." (György Buzsáki, Board of Governors Professor, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Rutgers University, a leading expert of neuronal networks)

"You have written a true gem of a book; erudite, humane, funny, accessible and thoroughly fascinating. On every page, I find another delight that makes me smile and leads me down new intellectual paths (weak links again!). Thanks to your thorough footnotes, I can delve as deep as I would like into the professional papers. Outstanding - I wish more books were written this way. I have adopted your book as a textbook for my Science of Networks class, and I will recommend it to anyone who ask without hesitation. You did a great service to pedagogy and to this budding science with this magisterial survey. I really appreciate it and my students will, as well." (Daniel J. Bilar, Computer Science Department, Wellesley College MA, USA)

About the author

Peter Csermely (50) is a professor at the Semmelweis University in Budapest. A former Fogarty Fellow at Harvard University, his main fields of study are molecular chaperones and networks. In 1996 Dr. Csermely launched a highly successful initiative providing research opportunities for more than 10,000 gifted high school students. He also established the Hungarian National Talent Support Council and the Network of Youth Excellence, www.nyex.info, promoting similar activities in 33 countries. He has published 11 books and more than 200 research papers. Dr. Csermely holds several distinguished appointments including membership of the Wise Persons' Council of the Hungarian President, vice-president of the Hungarian Biochemical Society and has been recipient of numerous international fellowships and awards, for example the 2003 Science Communication Award of the European Molecular Biology Organization and the 2004 Descartes Award of the European Union for Science Communication.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-540-31157-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)