Below is a general description of the final course project. We would prefer students to work individually but teams of two are also acceptable. For the project, you may either choose to work on the default topic of controlling epidemics or you may propose your own topic of interest.
The project requirements consist of three main parts, dealing with both theoretical and numerical analysis of a real world application of networks, and will culminate with a report and a short presentation. Regardless of your choice of topic, your project must include the following:
Identify a network dataset of interest. Download it, build the network using Python, and conduct a descriptive analysis. You should visualize the network and compute some of the network summary statistics we have discussed in class. This should include degree distribution, diameter, average shortest path length, clustering coefficient, and centralities. Include as many descriptive statistics as necessary to convey the characteristics and structure of your chosen network.
Formulate a research question tailored to your dataset. This should be the thesis of your final report and should describe exactly what you are interested in studying / answering. This part should also include the description of the mathematical model you intend to use to answer your research question. This could be a model you have learned in the course or taken from a text book or paper related to your research question.1
Implement a strategy or solution to your research question posed in Part II and report your results / findings. This should be the main section of your final report.
For the default epidemic project we will provide the dataset, the research question, the model that you should use for the spread of a virus over networks, and the list of the tasks you should perform for each part of the project. You may alternatively propose your own project of interest, contingent on our approval.
For details on the default epidemic project, see Controlling Epidemics on Networks. It will give you an idea about the type of the research question and the deliverables.
For details on how to propose your own topic of interest together with some suggestions regarding the alternative topics, see Proposing Your Own Application of Interest.
The most important part of the project will, of course, be your final report, so make sure it is complete and understandable. Make sure to complete all three parts listed above and try to come up with some interesting conclusions after finishing Part III (i.e. don’t just list a bunch of results but instead try to provide a clear answer to your question posed in Part II). You will also be graded on the clarity of your presentation. Remember, this project is worth 40% of your grade so please do not leave it to the last minute.
1 You need to provide proper citation.