Graphing Other Things? Other ways networks can be used.

Here is an example of a graph i made which is an attempt at graphing at out Hamlet’s speech “To be or Not To Be”. In order to do so, I utilised the website textexture – a great and innovate attempt at graphing out language and text in a way that attempts to find connections between how different words are read. (read more at the website)

to be or not to be

The Friendship Paradox & Dunbar’s Number

By analyzing large networks, some interesting theories and applications have emerged.
The friendship paradox is one of the statistical paradoxes that frequently emerges in large networks.

This article from the NY times website describes this phenomena in quite some detail. This quote shows the general idea of the friendship paradox:

For any network where some people have more friends than others, it’s a theorem that the average number of friends of friends is always greater than the average number of friends of individuals.

Dunbar’s Number is another phenomena, extracted from applied evolutionary studies. Dunbar began formulating these ideas long before the internet and social networks became popular. HE looked at various civilization’s from differently sized groups of people throughout history, eventually postulating the average size of groups/communities to be around 100 – 230 (averagely around 150)

Dunbar also looked at the habits of Christmas cards being delivered in and around London, in order to calculate the networks that emerged and track the sizes and characteristics of modern communities. Read more here

These theories are only a few interesting things that can be seen or calculated through network science and social network analysis!

Graphing on a Mac

As per usual, Apple makes it just slightly harder to accomplish things that windows and linux do with flying colours.

To get started, this great blog post shows you all the steps required to get NodeXL working on a mac. They include using virtual box or Amazon EC2

This video shows you how to create a micro-instance of Amazon on your Mac:

 

Another great option for those of you who are using Macs, is to look for other programs which can accomplish similar tasks to NodeXL.

One great example is Gephi, an opensource software designed to generate and export lovely looking graphs.

On this page, you can find both the download links and information for installing on Windows, Mac or linux.

This page offers some great intro tutorials for working with Gephi.

I hope you all enjoy!

Social Network Analysis 101

Our lives are embedded within  networks: online and offline – from social networks to networks of work and institutions, networks of family and friends, networks within our bodies…. the list goes on.

Much research tries to utilize these networks in order to better understand how netowrking takes place, what can be deduced by the networks which form, and what relation do they have to our actual lives.

Below are some interesting links to get you started with your own social network analyses!

– First, let me Wikipedia Social Network Analysis, Social Networks, Network Science & Network theory for you!

– Here is an introduction slide show about Social network analysis

-This is the  link for the International Social Network Analysis Organization.  (On the right you can find the latest journals!)

-Lastly, Here is a link to NodeXL’s gallery of graphs, where you can see some crazy social graphs currently being created!