There will be a 3 hour Q&A and hands-on tutorial on the use of NodeXL and broadly on social media network analysis. We will focus on the process of collecting, storing, analyzing, visualizing, and sharing insights into social media network graphs.
Many thanks to Maksim Tsvetovat (@maksim2042) for arranging the location.
Bring your SNA, social media, social network, and NodeXL questions along with sample data sets!
Come hear about NodeXL features that make automating network data collection, analysis, visualization and publication simple and easy. Get daily reports on the social networks that matter to you!
I will talk about the upcoming features releasing in NodeXL (auto update, new layouts, better importers for Twitter, Facebook, Wikis, and more) and take your requests.
If you would like to attend please complete this form:
The talk will focus on the easy to follow steps needed to create social media network maps and reports automatically from services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, email, blogs, wikis, and the WWW. Here is a sample network map of the term #bigdataprivacy:
The graph represents a network of 248 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “#bigdataprivacy”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 6-day, 10-hour, 29-minute period from Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at 14:36 UTC to Tuesday, 04 March 2014 at 01:06 UTC. There is an edge for each “replies-to” relationship in a tweet. There is an edge for each “mentions” relationship in a tweet. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a “replies-to” or “mentions”.
The graph’s vertices were grouped by cluster using the Clauset-Newman-Moore cluster algorithm.
The graph was laid out using the Harel-Koren Fast Multiscale layout algorithm.
The edge colors are based on edge weight values. The edge widths are based on edge weight values. The edge opacities are based on edge weight values. The vertex sizes are based on followers values. The vertex opacities are based on followers values.
Top 10 Vertices, Ranked by Betweenness Centrality:
@whitehouseostp, @mit, @mit_csail, @steve_lockstep, @aureliepols, @dbarthjones, @digiphile, @stannenb, @djweitzner, @mikaelf
This is a sample NodeXL graph that represents a network of 106 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “passbac”. The network was obtained on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 01:09 UTC. There is an edge for each follows relationship. There is an edge for each “replies-to” relationship in a tweet. There is an edge for each “mentions” relationship in a tweet. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a “replies-to” or “mentions”. The tweets were made over the 7-day, 5-hour, 32-minute period from Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 17:40 UTC to Tuesday, 29 January 2013 at 23:12 UTC.
Learn to make your own network maps of social media at PASSBAC 2013!
NodeXL allows users to gather vertices into named collections called “Groups”. This is handy whenever the entities in the network are made up of different types or an algorithm has divided the network into sub-regions based on how densely some vertices connect to one another. The Groups menu is found in the NodeXL>Analysis menu:
Since version v.132 of NodeXL it has been possible to Collapse a group of vertices (See: Expand and Collapse Groups of Vertices with NodeXL v.132). When a group is collapsed all of the vertices within that group are removed from the network graph and replaced with a single vertex with a size proportionate to the number of vertices in the group. A small “+” plus sign indicates that the vertex is a placeholder for a group of vertices.
If the user expands a collapsed group all of the vertices that had been hidden return to positions in the network visualization. The Groups menu has commands for creating, collapsing, and expanding groups.
NodeXL (v.166) now has the ability to automatically collapse or expand any group of vertices conditionally based on any attribute in the workbook using the Autofill Columns feature.
The NodeXL Autofill columns feature allows users to map data elements to display elements. At the bottom of this list (you may need to scroll down to see it) you will now find a new row: Group Collapsed?
There are several network metric attributes for each group that are created when the Find Groups and then the Graph Metrics command has been run on a network in NodeXL:
Selecting one of the data items in the drop down allows you to automatically decide if a group with those attributes will be presented in a collapsed or (default) expanded state. The data about each group include the number of vertices within the group, the number of connections between those vertices, the number of non-unique connections, the number of unique connections among the vertices, the number of self-connections, the number of unique connected components, the number of isolated vertices, the number of vertices in the largest component, the number of edges in the largest component, the maximum and average width of the largest component, and the density of the group.
These metrics allow for the automated processing of the graph to measure each group and apply a test to decide if a group is too dense or populous to be seen in an expanded state.
Recently, we’ve been setting out to set up a new way to set the option settings in NodeXL. Now we have added a new feature to NodeXL (v.166): savable, selectable configuration option settings files.
This may seem dull but this feature may have a big impact on the ease of use of NodeXL. This may let the most experienced users of NodeXL share their best practices with the rest of the user community.
Throughout NodeXL you can set a wide range of values, options, and settings. Change the default size of a font in the Graph Options and we record that setting. Map the size of a vertex to a value associated with it in Autofill columns and we record the setting.
Until now, we recorded the settings in several places: some settings went with each workbook, some settings were associated with each machine and stayed on each desktop. The result was that I could create a great network visualization, save and send someone the workbook and they often would not see what I saw when they opened and visualized the network graph. Why? People set their settings in lots of different ways, on different machines, creating potentially vastly different results.
Now, NodeXL will record everything about how a network workbook should be rendered in that workbook.
This now also means that expert users can save their settings for NodeXL and exchange them with other users.
NodeXL now has three places to put settings that should make it more reliable to share a workbook and get the same results on different systems. There will now be a default NodeXL settings file, a per NodeXL workbook settings file (stored in a hidden worksheet in the workbook) and any number of saved settings files. Users can save their settings in each workbook or decide to save the workbook’s custom set of settings to overwrite the default settings file that will be applied to all subsequent NodeXL workbooks. Users can also save their settings to one or more named files, which can be shared with others. Users can import any of these settings files and apply them to an open workbook by selecting NodeXL>Options>Import.
Each NodeXL workbook now has its own set of options. The options are stored right in the workbook, so if you send a workbook to someone else, she’ll be using the same set of options that you did. (“Options” are the selections you make in NodeXL’s dialog boxes, in the NodeXL tab in the Excel Ribbon, and in the toolbar at the top of the graph pane.)
If you like the options you’ve selected in a workbook and you want those options to be used for all new NodeXL workbooks, use NodeXL, Options, Use Current for New in the Ribbon.
You can export a workbook’s options to a separate “options file” that you can send to another NodeXL user or use yourself for other NodeXL workbooks. Use NodeXL, Options, Export.
Import an options file into a workbook using NodeXL, Options, Import. (Known bug, will be fixed in next release: The setting for the Scale slider at the top of the graph pane does not get imported.)
The old “Options” button at the top of the graph pane is now called “Graph Options.”
There is no longer a Background button in NodeXL, Visual Attributes. The graph’s background color and image are now both set via Graph Options.
The NodeXL Network Server console program now lets you specify a NodeXL options file to use when a network is saved to a NodeXL workbook. See the NodeXLOptionsFile topic in the SampleNetworkConfiguration.xml file for details. This means that the same machine can be used for scheduled network collection and processing without console users interfering with the settings for automated graphs.
NodeXL now (v.166) offers users a set of keyboard shortcuts that can speed up your routine network layout tasks.
After you click in the graph pane, a number of keyboard shortcuts are now available for functions that had previously been available in the visualization pane’s right-click menu. Now, you can press:
Ctrl+A to select all vertices and edges
Ctrl+V to select all vertices
Ctrl+E to select all edges
Ctrl+D to deselect everything
Ctrl+P to edit the properties of the selected vertices
Ctrl+C to save the graph image to the Windows clipboard
Ctrl+I to save the graph image to a file
Arrow key to move the selected vertices a small distance
Shift+arrow key to move the selected vertices a large distance.
(If you forget a shortcut, most of them are listed in the graph pane’s right-click menu.)
If you have any suggestions for other frequent tasks that could be accelerated with a keyboard command, please contact us on the NodeXL discussion board or here in the comments.