Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

It is fascinating to know that Social Network Analysis is indeed a very old branch of study. I really liked the applications of Social Network Analysis, which can be of great use in fields like epidemilogy and avoiding terrorist network connections.

The current paper is about a Social Network Analysis software tool called "SocialAction", which have some unique features which can go a long way in helping researchers explore, visualize and find patterns in the social networks.

SocialAction, could dramatically speed insight development.

Users can
- Flexibly iterate through visualizations of measures to gain an overview, filter nodes, and find outliers
- Aggregate networks using link structure, find cohesive subgroups, and focus on communities of interest
- Untangle networks by viewing different link types separately, or find patterns across different edge types using overview visualizations.

The feature I liked the most is attribute ranking. I think the software took into all the properties of social networks, based on which the researcher can focus his interest.

I see that some of the features in this tool are also present in other software tools, but I really can't comment on which software is best until we compare and survey each of these software tools. But, I do find that the concepts and features provided in the paper quite appropriate for social network analysis.

The paper was presented well, with appropriate pictures and examples relevant to the concepts that are being described. It was a pleasant reading experience!