The NodeXL team has just released a new version (v.184.108.40.206) that contains a new “Automation” feature that allows users to define a collection of operations to perform on their network graphs and invoke the complete set in a single button click AND reuse that configuration on other workbook graphs. In fact, the feature will apply the configuration you define to all the files you specify, allowing easy processing of large collections of network data sets.
This week the feature is partially complete. Users can invoke the merge duplicate edges, calculate graph metrics, auto-fill columns, create sub-graph images, find clusters and show graph. These operations can require as many as dozens of clicks when performed manually. If you have dozens or hundreds of network data sets the result is a daunting case of repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead, with automation, these operations can be carried out orders of magnitude more frequently without much pain!
The next release will feature the complete package which will then include control over the layout and graph options. As a result, automatically generated network visualizations can be produced in a pipeline: users will be able to specify a query using the NodeXL desktop network data collector and then automate the processing of large collections of data sets.
The result should be better analysis of time series data sets that have many “slices”. The feature points the way to additional development work for supporting the comparison between networks to evaluate their evolution.