Princeton University
Computer Science Dept.

Computer Science 496
Special Topics in Computer Science:
Complex Networks - Analysis and Applications

Andrea LaPaugh

Spring 2017

General Information | Schedule and AssignmentsProject Page | Announcements

Course Summary

Complex networks arise through the analysis of complex systems in many areas of study.  Well known areas include social network analysis (e.g. Facebook friends), text citation analysis (e.g. Wikipedia) and biological network analysis (e.g. protein-protein interactions).  Complex networks can be distinguished from random networks and from regular networks, such as grids, which are often created by design for applications such as interconnecting computers.  This course examines methods of analysis of complex networks and how this analysis can be applied to enhance our understanding of real-world systems.


COS 226 and some experience with linear algebra.

Administrative Information

Meeting time:  Monday, Wednesday 1:30-2:50pm
Meeting place:  Computer Science Building Room 301
Extra meetings: If we need to make up a class due to my schedule, we may have a class during reading period and/or an evening class during the semester. Class participants will be consulted before any make-up class time is chosen.

Professor: Andrea LaPaugh, aslp@cs. ...
304 Computer Science Building, 258-4568
Office hours: Mon. 3:00-4:30pm  or by appointment.  Easiest way to make an appointment is by email.

Course secretary: Mitra Kelly, 414 CS building, 258-4562, mkelly@cs. ...

For email addresses specified above, "..." stands for


Required reading: 
I will assign reading primarily out of two textbooks.  These textbooks are listed as recommended, not required, on Blackboard and at Labyrinth Books.  Both books are available online.     Printed versions are on reserve at the Engineeering Library.
Recommended text books:
I will also assign some conference papers and may assign brief portions of other textbooks available online.

Work of the Course

The course will have the following components weighted as indicated:

Problem sets

There will be 6 problem sets distributed throughout the semester. 


There will two exams during the semester, each covering roughly half the course material. There is no exam during final exam period.


Students will do a final project either individually or in pairs.  The choice of topic is up to each individual or pair, but must be related to the material of the course. The project must be approved in advance by the course instructor.  See the project page for more information and a list of suggested projects.


The course has a Piazza account: COS 496 - Fall 2017.   All assignments and class notes will be made available on the Piazza course account.  Piazza will also be used for all course announcements and quick questions.   Students are responsible for registering on Piazza and adding themselves to the course account.  Students are also responsible for monitoring the postings on the Piazza cos 435 site for important course announcements.  Piazza is great for sharing questions and answers with the class (private questions addressed only to the instructors are also possible).  However, an old fashioned face-to-face meeting is still best for addressing deeper confusions and other technical discussions.

The course schedule is on the Schedule and Assignments page of the course Web site. Reading assignments will be posted for each class meeting.  Schedule changes will be made on Schedule and Assignments and announced on Piazza


(This is the general list of topics, approximately in the order we will cover them.  Please see Schedule and Assignments for specific topics and reading assignments as the semester progresses)

A.S. LaPaugh content last changed  SFri Sep 22 16:00:03 EDT 2017
Copyright 2017 Andrea S. LaPaugh