Social Network Analysis using Node xl

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Talk to dissertation students by Chris Phethean, 22nd April

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  • VISUALISING NETWORKSEdges are human relationships on Facebook*Visualisations can reveal interesting findings from otherwise meaningless data*Mapping locations of users on Facebook and the relationships between them produces a World Map of Facebook – with some noticeable places missing
  • Explain how visualising networks in this way is useful for understanding graph theory concepts – can see here that the nodes with high Betweenness are those at the edges of groups, because they are the important connections for linking up the rest of the network.
  • And so we can show how these people link up the various groups by categorising them by cluster – something that NodeXL can automatically do – and see that if I wanted to spread something to everyone I know, then these would probably be good people to target.
  • Switch to Excel to visualise my downloaded Facebook networkThen do analysis on network, size nodes based on Betweenness (how much the node appears on shortest path between any 2 nodes) and re-visualise to highlight the important nodes of the networkDownload Facebook Fan page data and then visualise co-commenter network to show a business example
  • Pinwheel of Facebook network where the most important people in each group are near the centre – but without a label this appears meaningless – who are these people?!?
  • Social Network Analysis using Node xl

    1. 1. Chris Phetheancjp106@soton.ac.uk@cphethSocial Network Visualisation and Analysis withNodeXL
    2. 2. OUTLINE• Visualising Networks?• What is NodeXL?• How to import your own social network data• How to analyse and visualise your network• Things to consider when visualising networks
    3. 3. NETWORK ANALYSIS FROM VISUALISATIONS• Examine online communities• Observe how ideas and knowledge can spread• Determine who are the key „nodes‟• Determine what key „edges‟ exist
    4. 4. AN EXAMPLE APPLICATION: MARKETING“a campaign manager can use the first few generations of a campaign as alearning platform to decode the underlying network structure and estimate thetransmission behavior of the target audience, and then use this knowledge tointervene or reshape the campaign strategy for the later generations.”Bampo et al.Bampo, M. et al., 2008. The effects of the social structure of digital networks on viral marketing performance. Informationsystems research, 19(3), pp.273–290.
    5. 5. AN EXAMPLE APPLICATION: MARKETING“a campaign manager can use the first few generations of a campaign as alearning platform to decode the underlying network structure and estimate thetransmission behavior of the target audience, and then use this knowledge tointervene or reshape the campaign strategy for the later generations.”Bampo et al.Bampo, M. et al., 2008. The effects of the social structure of digital networks on viral marketing performance. Informationsystems research, 19(3), pp.273–290.
    6. 6. NodeXL• Free, open source template for Microsoft Excel (2007 and 2010 only)• Windows only• Easily import data from social media services• No programming required• Perform network analysis calculations with Excel• Visualise network using different statistics to modify the output• http://nodexl.codeplex.com/
    7. 7. IMPORTING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK1. Download and Install NodeXL• http://nodexl.codeplex.com/2. Download Social Network Importer for NodeXL• http://socialnetimporter.codeplex.com/• Unzip and move .dll files intoProgram FilesSocial Media Research FoundationNodeXL Excel TemplatePlugInsfolder of NodeXL• Allows Facebook networks to be imported into NodeXL
    8. 8. Network Modelling and VisualisationAn Example
    9. 9. My Facebook NetworkNovember 2012
    10. 10. My Facebook NetworkNovember 2012Importance by degree(Connections to other friends)
    11. 11. My Facebook NetworkNovember 2012Importance by betweenness(Importance of the node inconnecting any other 2 nodes)
    12. 12. My Facebook NetworkNovember 2012Importance by betweennessColoured by social group
    13. 13. HOW TO ACTUALLY DO STUFF…Demo
    14. 14. THINGS TO CONSIDER• Visualisations are visual• Pictures for all nodes  Messy graph• Labels for all nodes  Messy graph• No labels or pictures  Confusing, possibly meaningless graph
    15. 15. Picture from: http://ichromatiq.blogspot.com/2010/07/visualizing-email-communications-using.html
    16. 16. Picture from: http://people.oii.ox.ac.uk/hogan/2010/01/new-pinwheel-network-layout/#more-87
    17. 17. THINGS TO CONSIDER• Remove „ego‟ from network visualisations• So no node for yourself, or the topic you are analysing• If every fan/follower/friend links to a central node then the network willbecome distorted• You should be more interested in the relationships around thetopic, rather than with it
    18. 18. SUMMARY• Network analysis and visualisation makes finding important features of networks easier• NodeXL is easy to use straight away – you don‟t need to worry about programming andusing APIs yourself• Visualisations can look good!• But consider what information you‟re trying to convey – you don‟t need to showeverything

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