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Network science research at Khoury College aims to uncover the patterns and mechanisms that characterize complex, large-scale networks—technological, biological, and social—to mathematically formulate behavior, explore universality, and model emergent outcomes. Khoury is developing leading-edge methods for analyzing and visualizing the meaningful interactions and interconnectivity within these complex systems. From predicting key determinants in the spread of infectious disease to understanding the origin and success of memes and ideas, our network science researchers continually find practical applications within the biological, natural, social, medical, and administrative sciences.

Areas of investigation:

  • Analysis of technology’s impact on social networks
  • Development of mathematical and data-driven computational models of critical infrastructure, biological and information systems
  • Data mining and machine learning for complex networks
  • Analysis and modeling of information and contagion spreading processes
  • Mining and exploring heterogeneous information networks
  • Social network processes in collaborative decision-making and team collaboration
  • Control theory for complex networks
  • Political and social influence in networks

Home to the first Network Science PhD program in the nation, Khoury is led by an unparalleled group of researchers employing the latest methodological advances in computational thinking, complex systems analysis, and data integration. Northeastern’s Network Science Institute offers PhD and Masters students a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary research environment—one that is poised to discover fundamentally new ways to measure, model, predict, and visualize the meaningful interactions and interconnectivity of systems.

Notable achievements:

  • Khoury was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to lead the first interdisciplinary study of the consequences of potential disruptions and failures of interdependent networks, such as the Internet and the power grid.
  • A Khoury researcher was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to lead the research to understand online creative collaboration over multidimensional networks.
  • Northeastern researchers at the Network Science Institute received a Young Investigator Award for research on social network processes in collaborative decision-making.
  • Researchers at the Network Science Institute have been working on the real time modeling and analysis of the West Africa 2014 Ebola outbreak and their results have been published in PLOS Currents Outbreaks, Eurosurveillance and the Lancet Infectious Diseases.
  • Khoury researcher received NSF Career Award for research on mining heterogeneous information networks with social factors.
  • Our researchers discovered scale-free networks and developed a model to explain their widespread emergence in social networks and other social, technological, and natural systems.
  • Critique of Google Flu Trends received widespread attention for lessons regarding use/misuse of big data.
  • Network researchers at Khoury completed the first large-scale study of social network growth, identifying common underlying properties in the YouTube, Flickr, Live Journal, and Orkut networks.
  • Our researchers received a NSF grant to develop and distribute systems that reflect emerging patterns of content sharing over the Internet, limit users’ vulnerability to online fraud, and measure the prevalence of incorrect privacy settings on social network sites.
  • Khoury developed a system for China’s largest social network to detect fake accounts.
Research Area - Network Science