Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reaction-Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

The paper discuss about Social Action as an effective tool for balanced yet flexible analysis of Social networks. Author starts by discussing the importance of network visualization, its application in different areas and how analysis of social networks differ from others. Ranks and visually coded links in Social Action enable analysts to systematically explore social networks. Author also discuss bout previous work in this area like GUESS, Treeplus, NetLens, Topological Fisheye views. I agree with the point that there is no systematic way to interpret networks, as measures can have different meaning in diffrent networks. But social action overcome this problem by introducing a flexible and customized zoom-in zoom-out facility, which keeps the network layout intact while examining the large network. Ranking by user interest largely reduce the nodes and links in consideration and thus provide a legible view to users. Social Action can also be used in conjunction with scatter plot to depict cohesion and coupling between two comparison parameter. I liked the concept of aggregate ranking for cohesive subgroups, as it offers subgroups detection without eliminating important criterion.The concept of meta node and meta links is intuitive as their size is proportional to number of links between nodes. Author also compares SocialAction with Vizster in this context. Matrix Summary feature in social action makes it very easy to analyze multiplex network which has its application in many areas. Author,very convincingly, explains various advantages of socialaction with an example of large data set. Overall,this paper is an interesting read primarily because it deals with social network which has its application in almost every field.