Follow along with our discussion using these links.
Very brief definitions of each of the terms we’ll discuss today.
Upload an edge list and get an array of measures, along with a small graph visualization. Please use this dataset, which lists cast members who appeared in Oscar Micheaux’s silent films. The “weight” column indicates the number of times the two people appeared in the same film.
To load the dataset, drag it into the empty box. Leave the Unweighted and Undirected radio boxes unchecked and press Calculate.
Get a walk-through of various network measures and concepts using the example of the characters who appear in Star Wars films.
Analyzing social networks without Cytoscape
In class today, we will learn to conduct social network analysis with the graphing tool Cytoscape. But there are a number of other options for making and publishing network graphs.
For the graph above, I used the web-based tool Flourish. While Flourish will not calculate measures, it will allow you to create really nice-looking, embeddable, interactive network graphs. Creating the graphs is easy, as long as your data is in the right format.
Polinode is a web-based network data visualizer that I have not used, but which some students have told me they like. It is a paid service, but it does offer a free 7-day trial.
The R package igraph is a very popular tool for analyzing networks and generating graphs. This tutorial from Jesse Sadler looks to be a very thorough introduction to graphing networks with R. (You can also export the results of your analysis into a D3-friendly format.)
D3, the visualization library, can produce great-looking interactive network graphs with its force-directed graph layout. Hint: You can use Cytoscape to perform your calculations and then create your final graph in D3. Install the plugin D3.js Exporter to export your data (including all calculations) in JSON format, designed to be dropped into a D3 graph.