Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

This paper introduces "SocialAction", a tool built on the principle of "The Visual Information Seeking Mantra", that helps visualize Social Network Analysis measures. It is explained considering the Terrorist Networks and how they impact various countries. The example chosen is quite interesting as the data is real and the issue is of global importance. I found this tool interesting as it simplifies the analysis of a social network, which can otherwise get so complicated that extracting appropriate data to visualize it becomes difficult. A user is provided with a wide range of choices in measures. There is also the process of finding cohesive groups of nodes which is made easier by this tool, which further increases its usability. Other features that catch the eye are Subgrouping and multiplex ranking, which let the user focus on the area of interest by filtering the display as per the temporal characteristics. This paper is a very good attempt at enhancing the visualization aspects of a large network and would be very helpful, especially to large enterprises.