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Historical Network Analysis | DataNinjas Posts

If you insist… more tutorials on R

This post is for all you nutcases out there who are considering working with R. Don’t be tempted by the Dark Side! They do NOT have cookies, however much they advertise the opposite. Only cookie monster has cookies, and he is obviously a UCINET guy. Because he’s blue, you see. And the UCINET website has lots of blue. Pure logic. Still sticking to R? Meh, well, it’s your life, waste away. Luckily, I got some tutorials to get you going. Just to be clear: these aren’t SNA-geared tutorials, just for R in general, but since you need a basic knowledge of how it works, this will definitely help. The first one is just the way we like it: simple and fun. It revolves around cats. Yes, cats. The internet is all about cats these days, and now they’re taking over R as well. Ok, gotta admit, R scores some serious points with this one. Get your catisfaction here. The second tutorial is a little more advanced, and explains how to write your own packages from scratch. If your going to be reusing functions often, this might come in handy. No cats involved in this one though, too bad 🙁 Finally, some reminders: – the CfP deadline for the Historical Network Research conference in Ghent in September is approaching (May 10). Make sure to sign up for our meet-and-greet! Check out one of our previous posts for more info. – I don’t think I’ve mentioned this one before, but there’s a…

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More events!

Here are some more events we thought you might be interested in. You might even spot us at some!   May 9-11: Networks and Interactions conference at Leiden University. Silke will enlighten the world with a paper on Demotic contracts from Ptolemaic Thebes. She created this cool multi-layered network incorporating the scribes, the contracting parties and the witnesses, linking those in the same documents, as well as recording family ties. The main focus is on the witnesses: how were they chosen? Were they connected to the notarial and scribal offices, or can they be linked to one or both parties as family and/or acquaintances perhaps? Or were they chosen randomly, passers-by simply picked from the streets when needed?   May 12: a conference on mixed-method approaches to social network analysis at Hendon Campus (Middlesex University) in Londen, where qualitative research is applied to social networks besides the traditional quantitative approach   July 11: Silke will present her Theban witness paper to a London audience this time, as part of the Digital Classicist London & Institute of Classical Studies summer seminars. More info, abstract and other speakers here! August 1: During yet another seminar in the Digital Classicist summer edition, Sebastian Rahtz and Gabriel Bodard will present the SNAP:DRGN project (of which our very own Trismegistos is a privileged partner!)  June 23-28 (2015!): Sunbelt XXXV – next mega SNA conference bij the INSNA will take place in Brighton (UK) next year, save the date! To make things easier, I created a calendar dedicated…

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Community detection in networks and modularity

Today is Silke’s turn to shine again, this time with an intelligent bit on community detection! I have just one thing to say: Good moaning guv! DataNinjas are back, bringing the best of SNA to you all the way from Fog City aka London! While Yanne withers away back home in Leuven, I have been trying very hard to drink my sorrow away in the many pubs with my new (and I must admit: v. amusing – just in case they’re reading this *wink wink*) colleagues.   Cheers, sweetie darling!   Community Detection For the few hours that I’ve been sober though, I’ve been focusing on another aspect of SNA: community detection. Not meaning that I’ve been walking around in the city with my binoculars, spying on the artistic, academic, queer communities – although I have, obviously. We’re – of course – talking about community detection in a network, or by that we mean: taking a look at the structure of the network by focusing on its underlying sub-units, which are made up of highly interconnected nodes. In Gephi, you can automatically get the software to divide your network in different communities. It also provides you with a value for modularity. This value (between -1 & 1) measures the density of the edges inside the communities in comparison to the density of the edges between the different communities. So it’s actually a measure for how good (or bad) the chosen community detection method is. These features are really nice, colouring the…

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DataNinjas = read.csv(“software.csv”, head=T, sep=”;”, na.strings=na) (3)

[Recap: There’s tons of software out there to help you with your calculations, correlations, transformations, permutations, visualizations, … (here we go with the –ations again! Seriously! Maybe I should make a network out of them). There are all-rounders, like UCINET, some focus more on the numbers (such as R), others (Gephi for example – this post is exactly about that: a Gephi Tutorial) are geared toward those who like fancy spaghetti monsters (guess who?!). If you’re working with really large, or even HUGE data, Pajek’s your cup of tea, although it works just as well for small networks. There’s no such thing as “the best” program to work with, although everyone probably has a favorite. Gephi is our top choice, not just because of the fancy schmancy visuals, but also because it’s very user-friendly. When it comes to metrics, however, it’s pretty limited. For those, I turn to UCINET, while Silke gets her kicks in R. Why? No idea. The fact that she took the introduction course to SNA & R and I the equivalent for UCINET at last year’s Sunbelt in Hamburg has nothing to do with this of course. Anywho, over the next couple of posts we’ll let you know what we think of some of the major software programs, with tips ‘n tricks to help you out. If you have any questions, Google it, for cryin’ out loud, that brain of yours is there for a reason! Just kidding, we’re happy to help if we can. Not.…

Continue reading DataNinjas = read.csv(“software.csv”, head=T, sep=”;”, na.strings=na) (3)

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More great news! We have been scouted by our alma mater’s very own blog: KU Leuven blogt! Our ‘SNA for Dummies post’ is frontpage news there! Or is it just too vain to write a post about a repost of an original post…? Meh, whatever. Final post on SNA software is coming soon, véry soon!

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CfP: Historical Network Research Conference 2014

Okay! Hold on te yer hats! We gonna do some serious advertising here! This year, the second Historical Network Research Conference will be held in Gent (September 15-19). Yup, that’s right, in our own brave little Belgium! What’s more: we are going te be there! Uh huh, slap on some sunscreen (better make that LOADS) and get ready to bask in our magnificent glow. Can’t get any better than that, you say? Well you better hold on to yer pants then, ’cause it actually does! Alright, here it comes. Or wait, maybe you should sit down for this one. Ok, got a pillow next to you in case you faint? Great! Because this is your one (who knows, perhaps not only) chance to get up close and personal with the DataNinjas during one of the pre-conference workshops we’re assisting! It obviously deals with the most important step in network analysis: preparing your data. Because, if you get that wrong, well, you’re screwed basically. Places are limited, so sign up as soon as possible, we’re expecting a major stampede here. Oh, and can you perhaps sign up for one of the other workshops as well? You know, so we don’t, like, embarrass the organizers? I mean, it’s not all about us after all. We’ll be doing an autograph and photo session of course, but come on guys, you gotta give the others a chance. There’s plenty of time to hang out with us during the breaks! Paper and poster sessions are…

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Prosop: a social networking tool for the past

Call for participants for the second Prosop database development workshop in Tallahassee (FL) on May 9. What is Prosop? Prosop is a collaborative semantic web database of details about individuals in the past. Although it maps networks and discovers connections, it is not just facebook for dead people. In particular, it aims to:manage diverse types of data from different historical settings,aggregate of large quantities of person data,accommodate uncertain and conflicting information, andfacilitate data-driven study of historical systems of description and classification. What kinds of data do we seek? We’re looking for information about relatively large sets of relatively ordinary people from the past. Typically, this information is extracted from archival records used by microhistorians. For example, the database contains the name, age, address, and physical description of 700 criminal court defendants from 1880s Egypt. Prosop is meant to work for all kinds of historical person data, and we are especially interested in data in unusual formats (linguistic, topical, or otherwise) that will help us to develop the flexibility of the system. Also, we are looking for participants who are willing to share their data with the community of researchers using Prosop.   It’s in Florida, peeps, don’t hesitate. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just a 3h 39min drive away. The new section with Diagon Ally, King’s Cross station and so much more won’t be open by then yet, but I could spend a whole day riding just The Forbidden Journey in the castle anyway, it’s just SO TOTALLY…

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