Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

Authors of the paper have proposed a goal-directed system, SocialAction which is a great tool for any user or analyst and is designed to help users make discoveries.

Few of the many advantages of SocialAction are:

  • Users can easily get an overview of the data and find outliers.
  • User can easily spot sub groups and can concentrate on things of his/her interest.
  • User can easily differentiate between different links, unscramble it and find patterns using a matrix overview.
  • Analysts can find patterns in the structure and evaluate how individuals are affected by their surroundings.
  • Balances systematic and flexible exploration.
  • In large networks, when the layouts become hard to read, it helps by allowing users to accumulate nodes based on filter.
  • Lets the user find the exact area of interest across the entire network.
  • Offers a matrix summary so users can spot patterns across many different link types at once.
  • Extraction of subgraphs, selection of only key nodes, and aggregation strategies are promising methods.
  • Strongly links together the statistical and visual components of a network.

Other than these advantages, I really liked the "betweenness centrality" criteria and fading features of visualization, which makes it more sensible and lucid. All the visualizations in the paper are very very engaging and impressive.