October 9-11, 2011: IEEE 2011 Social Computing, Boston: NodeXL Paper on “Group-in-a-box” layouts

This year the IEEE Social Computing conference is being held in Boston, October 9-11, 2011.

The NodeXL team from the Social Media Research Foundation have a paper on our newest layout feature in NodeXL: Group-in-a-box.

Abstract: Communities in social networks emerge from interactions among individuals and can be analyzed through a combination of clustering and graph layout algorithms. These approaches result in 2D or 3D visualizations of clustered graphs, with groups of vertices representing individuals that form a community. However, in many instances the vertices have attributes that divide individuals into distinct categories such as gender, profession, geographic location, and similar. It is often important to investigate what categories of individuals comprise each community and vice-versa, how the community structures associate the individuals from the same category. Currently, there are no effective methods for analyzing both the community structure and the category-based partitions of social graphs. We propose Group-In-a-Box (GIB), a metalayout for clustered graphs that enables multi-faceted analysis of networks. It uses the treemap space filling technique to display each graph cluster or category group within its own box, sized according to the number of vertices therein. GIB optimizes visualization of the network sub-graphs, providing a semantic substrate for category-based and cluster-based partitions of social graphs. We illustrate the application of GIB to multi-faceted analysis of real social networks and discuss desirable properties of GIB using synthetic datasets.

The paper is authored by:

Eduarda Mendes Rodrigues*, Natasa Milic-Frayling†, Marc Smith‡, Ben Shneiderman§, Derek Hansen¶
* Dept. of Informatics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal – eduardamr @ acm.org
† Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK -natasamf @ microsoft.com
‡ Connected Action Consulting Group, Belmont, California, USA – marc @ connectedaction.net
§ Dept. of Computer Science & Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA – ben @ cs.umd.edu
¶ College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland – dlhansen @ umd.edu

A map of the connections among the people who recently tweeted #SocialCom2011:


Connections among the Twitter users who recently tweeted the word #socialcom2011 when queried on October 10, 2011, scaled by numbers of followers (with outliers thresholded). Connections created when users reply, mention or follow one another.

Layout using the “Group Layout” composed of tiled bounded regions. Clusters calculated by the Clauset-Newman-Moore algorithm are also encoded by color.

A larger version of the image is here: www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/6232130442/sizes/l/in/ph…

Top most between users:
@danielequercia
@gadgetman4u
@bkeegan
@shaunlawson
@maryheston
@mmiiina
@ronaldomenezes
@theshadowhost
@fergal_reid
@cosleydr

Graph Metric: Value
Graph Type: Directed
Vertices: 36
Unique Edges: 119
Edges With Duplicates: 155
Total Edges: 274
Self-Loops: 105
Connected Components: 2
Single-Vertex Connected Components: 1
Maximum Vertices in a Connected Component: 35
Maximum Edges in a Connected Component: 273
Maximum Geodesic Distance (Diameter): 5
Average Geodesic Distance: 2.174551
Graph Density: 0.107936508
NodeXL Version: 1.0.1.179

More NodeXL network visualizations are here: www.flickr.com/photos/marc_smith/sets/72157622437066929/

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