Anno Accademico 2023/2024

  • Docente: Saverio Giallorenzo
  • Crediti formativi: 6
  • SSD: INF/01
  • Lingua di insegnamento: Inglese

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

"At the end of the course, the student knows the theoretical and practical concepts behind Network Analysis to be able to conduct a scientific inquiry over network data. That entails knowing the mathematical theory of networks — social, biological, technological — and its applications for a quantitative evaluation of the network-driven phenomena. During the course, the student has the chance to study applications over different fields, like Literature, History, Forensics, Computer Science, and Biology. The course includes practical sessions where the student learns how to automatise network research through the usage of software tools for network analysis and visualisation."


The programme is the same for both attending and non-attending students:

Introduction to Network Analysis, gentle introduction to the field of network analysis and its usages in other fields of research (e.g., computer science, forensics, archeology, literature, history, science of religion, etc.).

Research Design and How to Read a (Network Analysis) Research Paper: introduction to the scientific publication process, elements of research papers (on network analysis), research design, analysis of research papers.

Mathematics of Networks: networks and their representation, types of networks, graph representations, paths and components, adjacency matrices and matrix representations, ways and modes, operations on Matrices.

Data Collection and Data Management: network questions, data collection and reliability, data formats and transformation, algorithms and software for network analysis and visualisation.

Measures and Metrics, Nodes: kinds of measures, multi-category nominal scales, ordinal and scalar measures, centrality, degree and other kinds of centrality (e.g. Google's PageRank), hubs and authorities, closeness and betweenness centrality, groups of nodes (cliques, cores, components and k-components), clustering and clustering coefficients, reciprocity and similarity, structural and other types of equivalence, homophily and types of assortative mixing.

Testing Hypotheses: the role of hypotheses in the scientific method, testing hypotheses in network analysis, permutation tests, dyadic hypotheses.

Measures and Metrics, Networks: small-world effects, degree distribution, power laws and scale-free networks, visualisation and properties of power-law distributions, local-clustering coefficient, cohesion, reciprocity, transitivity and the clustering coefficient, triad census, centralisation and core-periphery indices, centrality, random graphs, means on edges and degree, degree distribution, giant and small component(s), locally tree-like networks.

Network Visualisation: the importance of network visualisation, graph-layout algorithms, embedding node attributes, node filtering, visualising ego networks, embedding tie characteristics, tie strengths, visualising network change.

Handling Large Networks: reducing the size of the problem, eliminating edges, pruning nodes, divide and conquer, aggregation, sampling, small-world and scale-free networks.


Lecture Notes, Research Papers, and datasets provided by the teacher.

Main references:

Newman, M. (2018). Networks. Oxford university press. Recommended chapters: 1 (+ one or more among 2, 3, 4, 5), 6, 7, 10, 11.

Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Johnson, J. C. (2018). Analyzing social networks. Sage. Recommended chapters: 1–8.

Additional references:

Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis: Methods and applications (Vol. 8). Cambridge university press.

Watts, D. J. (2004). Six degrees: The science of a connected age. WW Norton & Company.

Koch, R., & Lockwood, G. (2011). Superconnect: Harnessing the power of networks and the strength of weak links. Random House Digital, Inc..

Barabasi, A. L. (2014). Linked-how Everything is Connected to Everything Else and what it Means F (pp. 1-1). Perseus Books Group.

Metodi didattici

In-person frontal teaching and in-person students seminars/flipped classrooms.

Modalità di verifica e valutazione dell'apprendimento

The exam’s hand-in consists of a report: a 5-6 pages PDF document (8-9 pages for projects with more students), detailing the context, the problem/motivation, the data, the measures, and the results of the project that the students performed.

The report is the artefact evaluated for the exam and it is an essential tool for the students to check that they considered and reported on all the important aspects of their project study. The clear presentation/explanation of those aspects also forms the weighted partition that guides the grading, as listed below:

  • context, problem(s), motivation — 20%
  • dataset(s) and source(s), validity and reliability,
    applied measure/s and its/their justification, possible hypotheses and tests, results — 60%
  • interpretation of the overall results, critique (brief) — 20%

Please, refer to the website of the teacher for the exam description.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Network analysis software/packages (Ucinet, Gephi, NetworkX, Pajek, NodeXL) to analyse case studies, applying statistical measures and performing network visualisations.

Link ad altre eventuali informazioni


Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Saverio Giallorenzo


Istruzione di qualità Parità di genere Lavoro dignitoso e crescita economica Ridurre le disuguaglianze

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.