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Network Analysis Resources

Our research project benefits from cutting-edge network analysis software and training that is available to the broader social science community.

Software

UCINET is a comprehensive package for the analysis of social network data as well as other 1-mode and 2-mode data. Can read and write a multitude of differently formatted text files, as well as Excel files. Can handle a maximum of 32,767 nodes (with some exceptions) although practically speaking many procedures get too slow around 5,000 - 10,000 nodes. Social network analysis methods include centrality measures, subgroup identification, role analysis, elementary graph theory, and permutation-based statistical analysis. In addition, the package has strong matrix analysis routines, such as matrix algebra and multivariate statistics.

Gephi is a tool for people that have to explore and understand graphs. Like Photoshop but for data, the user interacts with the representation, manipulate the structures, shapes and colors to reveal hidden properties. The goal is to help data analysts to make hypothesis, intuitively discover patterns, isolate structure singularities or faults during data sourcing. It is a complementary tool to traditional statistics, as visual thinking with interactive interfaces is now recognized to facilitate reasoning. This is a software for Exploratory Data Analysis, a paradigm appeared in the Visual Analytics field of research.

The main motivation for development of Pajek was the observation that there exist several sources of large networks that are already in machine-readable form. Pajek provides tools for analysis and visualization of such networks: collaboration networks, organic molecule in chemistry, protein-receptor interaction networks, genealogies, Internet networks, citation networks, diffusion (AIDS, news, innovations) networks, and data-mining.

R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.

R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity.

Tutorials

Robert A. Hanneman and Mark Riddle provide a great online textbook on introductory social network methods.

This online textbook introduces many of the basics of formal approaches to the analysis of social networks. The text relies heavily on the work of Freeman, Borgatti, and Everett (the authors of the UCINET software package). The materials here, and their organization, were also very strongly influenced by the text of Wasserman and Faust, and by a graduate seminar conducted by Professor Phillip Bonacich at UCLA. Many other users have also made very helpful comments and suggestions based on the first version. Errors and omissions, of course, are the responsibility of the authors.

Upcoming Courses

Coursera provides a wide range of free courses from its partner institutions and universities. Two upcoming courses, beginning in September of 2012, provide training in the foundations of social network analysis.

Social Network Analysis, taught by Lada Adamic of the University of Michigan

Networked Life, taught by Michael Kearns of the University of Pennsylvania