Week 11 (Mar 28, 30):

Tuesday Think Relationally: Introduction to Network Visualization

  • Learning Objectives:
    • Understand basic concepts in network analysis, such as nodes, and edges / ties
    • Use Gephi to create a simple network graph
    • Understand the basics of data formats for Gephi
    • Understand the strengths and limits of network graphs for addressing research questions
  • Readings:

Study Guide:

Read Healy’s “Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere”. Consider the following questions:

  • Who was the key person involved in “terrorist groups operating within the Colonies”? How did the “junior analytical scribe” at the old “Royal Security Administration” find him out? (What is the “metadata”?)
  • What are the most important characteristics of the method used by the junior analytical scribe? Consult Weingart’s “Demystifying Networks” to know more about this method. What assumptions does it make? What are its particular strengths and weaknesses?

Thursday Introduction to Gephi

  • Learning Objectives:
    • Prepare network data in proper formats for visualization and analysis
    • Understand the basics of Gephi

End-of-the-Week Assignment: Gephi Exercise

Download the dataset from the Moodle site: CorrespondenceNetworks. Unzip it. This dataset provides data on correspondence networks of the Song dynasty, separated into three periods: 960-1050, 1050-1150, and 1150-1279. Choose whichever period you are interested in, and generate a network graph in Gephi. Size the nodes according to the betweenness centrality, and color the nodes based on their modularity class. (To do this, you will need to first make calculations using the Network Diameter and Modularity functions in the Statistics window.)

After you finish, use File > Save as… to save your file in the .gephi format. Then submit it to the online drop box on Moodle: Week 11: Gephi Exercise I

Under the Resources > Software Tutorials page of this website, you may find tutorials that help refresh your memory of Gephi. Be aware that these tutorials are often illustrated with earlier versions of Gephi, so some features may be called differently or located in different places in the latest version of Gephi.