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The University of Southampton

MATH3090 Structure and Dynamics of Networks

Module Overview

Networks are ubiquitous in the modern world: from the biological networks that regulate cell behaviour, to technological networks such as the Internet and social networks such as Facebook. Typically real-world networks are large, complex, and exhibit both random and regular properties, making them both challenging and interesting to model. This course is an introduction to the structure and dynamics of networks, as a modelling tool in applied mathematics.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Define basic network properties, compute them in theoretical and practical situations, and explain their significance in network modelling
  • Explain the relation between some network structural and spectral properties, and their significance for real-world networks
  • Utilise graph theoretical tools to determine the stability of complex dynamical systems
  • Explain real world phenomena in complex dynamical networks, such as synchronisation and scale-free network structures
  • Express stochastic processes mathematically as dynamical equations on networks for the probability of stochastic outcomes.
  • Extract information about stochastic processes, such as the probability distribution and critical phenomena.


Part I: Network structure and eigenvalues - Network terminology - Network eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and their relation to structural network properties Part II: Dynamics of and on networks - Dynamics on complex networks: stability and asymptotic trajectories - Examples of dynamical processes on and of networks: models of coupled oscillators, growing (scale-free) networks Part III: Stochastic dynamics on networks - Introduction to stochastic processes and how they related to dynamical systems on networks - Discussion of particular real world stochastic systems: random walks, gene regulatory networks, epidemics on social networks

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, tutorials, guided reading and private study. The lectures will be based on selected material from the reading list. Lectures will give an overview of the topic and introduce the main references and students are expected to demonstrate in-depth independent learning through private study. The module is organised in three blocks of four weeks each.

Independent Study102
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

M.E.J. Newman (2010). Networks: An Introduction. 

A.-L. Barabasi (2016). Network Science. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Online test 26.67%
Online test 26.67%
Online test 26.66%


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: MATH1048 and MATH1049 and MATH1059


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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