Edgar van Boven (1963) studied electronics and IT at HTS Vlissingen. Though tempted to start an adventurous life as a pianist, he graduated in 1987. After military service as a sergeant in a telecommunications battalion, he entered KPN. Initially, telephony network innovation dominated his career from various viewpoints starting with hardware & software engineering, via operational network planning to architecture & program management. From the mid 90's he started working on the evolution to Voice over Packet within in the former Unisource Business Networks environment. Having worked for 25 years as a KPN telecom architect on developments such as Voice over Internet technology, Fixed Mobile Convergence, Smart Cities and Internet of Things, he also contributed to the continuity of the telephony service which exists in the Netherlands since 1881.
In 2001, teaming with prof. Nico Baken, he entered TU Delft participating as a guest lecturer in the Master course Telecommunication Business Architectures and Models (ET4034).
Since 2006 he combined his architecture work at KPN with a parttime PhD position at the Network Architecture and Service department within the TUD EEMCS faculty. Having defended his thesis Economic Complex Networks: A holarchy of evolving sector | TU Delft Repositories in 2013, Edgar continued as a postdoc active in education and initiating new research. Continuing in 2017 at NAS as Assistant Professor, teaming with prof. Nico Baken, prof. Piet Van Mieghem, Walter Knoop and Eric Smeitink, the TUD-KPN NExTWORKx research program took off and currently enables six PhD candidates to research Artificial Intelligent Networking, Control theory and Next Generation Mobile telecom.

Inline with providing the ET4034 Telecom Master course, education from NAS also involves enabling and guiding Internships and Master thesis graduation projects:

  1. Master students with interest in telecom can develop their knowledge and skills in innovation challenges from a network science background at organisations such as KPN, Ericsson and TNO,
  2. Master students with interest in socio-economic research can involve in applied network science by means of the analysis of and simulations from real (national) data sets.


Since 2006, the socio-economic research at NAS contributes to the understanding of the structure, composition, properties, functions and dynamics of socio-economic systems. In close collaboration with experts from Statistics Netherlands we researched the German and Dutch economy modeled as  economic networks with focus on their sector specific clusters. From monetary flows, recorded in time series of Input-Output data, provided by the National Accounts departments of the Dutch and German Statistical Offices, we found power-law like behaviour from the monetary link weights and a full-mesh structure at sector level enabling each sector to directly share their produced (unique) value with every other sector.
MULTI-WEIGHTED MONETARY TRANSACTION NETWORK | Advances in Complex Systems (worldscientific.com)

Our current socio-economic research aims to reveal aspects of the time-dynamics of geographical complex networks. The research on control theory performed by NAS PhD candidate Ivan Jokic significantly contributes by means of mathematical modeling and data analytics.
As 190 years of Dutch municipality-related statistical data is available, we started researching the Dutch Municipality Network over the period 1830-2019. Applying tooling from both network science and geographic information systems, resulted in a research construct that models a set of municipalities as nodes in a network.

The 1830 network instance below shows its spatial graph constructed from the geographical locations of the nodes (determined by the townhall coordinates) and links between pairs of adjacent municipalities when having a land border and/or transportation connection in common. When entirely separated by water, links are defined in an annual network instance when transportation connections (enabling road/railway traffic) are in place by means of bridges, tunnels and/or dikes.


From analysing 190 annual instances of population and area data per municipality we found clear phase transitions in the urbanisation process and underlying network effects influencing migration and (as a consequence) the survivability of specific municipalities. Exemplified below, municipalities at both ends of the urbanisation scale are facing issues (such as housing shortage), of which some can be explained by analysing the underlying network effects. As we found power-law like behaviour in population distributions, we continue our research which connects the migration push-pull hypothesis (proposed by Gert Buiten) and the preferential detachment-preferential attachment hypothesis (proposed by Edgar van Boven).

Created by Ioannis Manolopoulos MSc, the link Link to animation of the DMN graph opens an animation of the municipality network evolution (1830-2019) which is strongly influenced by the municipality merging process. The link below gives access to his Master thesis, which he defended on 22-2-’22. https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid%3Afe1f9996-4b2a-4e04-a134-db8e4d5cbaf6



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