Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible exploration of social networks

The paper introduces "Social Action" that allows users to understand and analyze Social Network analysis measures. The paper talks about the difficulties in generating multiple views and patterns in case of social networks, mainly due to the umpteen currently used methods and provides a tool that allows users to explore the social network graph and allows for "customized" ranking of nodes.

The paper introduces attribute rankings and coordinated views which provide flexible mechanisms to the user like color coding, filtering, dynamic queries to analyze the structure of the social graph. A simple and obvious problem that will be faced in case of such enormous graphs are its breadth. In order to handle this, the users can aggregate nodes based on a criterion. The authors also introduce measures to rank nodes based on linkage between nodes or the graph properties. The users can then apply filter to these nodes based on their ranks and also compare them based using scatter plots. These strategies work even in case of multiplex social networks.

Thus, it provides the users an easy and flexible way to view visualizations and understand and find patterns, find similar groups of people and detect anomalies easily.