Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

In this article the authors present SocialAction, which seems a fairly customizable way to visualize, analyze and interact with networks and their components. Recently, Social Network Analysis (SNA) has trended for its applicability to the fraud detection (through outliers and their links) and to estimate potential of a given population based on the behavior of some network elements. I believe that SocialAction is flexible enough to perform industry standard network analysis across analysis from these and other different industries.

SocialAction flexibility is outstanding. Its features include ordering, ranking, coloring, querying, and node rearranging. Nodes and links can be added, deleted, or selected upon customizable parameters. The exploratory analysis is well complemented through a friendly way to create standard plots. As expected, it is more difficult to analyze networks as the dimensions increase, particularly if links overlap. The tool also includes a way to analyze based on dimension reduction and network reduction.

Should the authors provide a case study for trending Social Network Analysis problems, like fraud detection and profit network potential, SocialAction would increase its chances of being the next ultimate tool for this kind of analysis.