Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

The author mainly talks about the problems of representing huge graphs or networks. Stressing on the fact that, Inherently it is difficult to visualize, navigate, and most problematic is finding patterns in networks.

The solution that he offers is a tool called SocialAction. The differentiating factor that he takes about is that it applies attribute ranking and coordinated views to identify extreme-valued nodes.

In the fig 1.a & 1.b the author showcases a snapshot for the "terrorist network" from 97. As the left side gives the selection criteria with the color grading , the right side shows the network itself. One of the observations here is that although there is mapping of the color coding and also they claim to highlight both the node in graph and list on selection , it is still not that interactive. When we have to either go through the list or the graph to find the node of interest. They could have used ranking by default along with color indicators. There is convex hall later on to group but it is not that clear in the first sight.

The tool is tested for few thousand nodes but with current information on the web, the data is huge ! Although it does open up a window for analysts to think about , it in itself is not a complete solution to the problem.