Personal networks (tutorial)

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EgoNet is a software to conduct interviews in which the personal networks of respondents are collected. This tutorial explains (1) how to load data collected with EgoNet into visone and (2) how to cluster, aggregate, and visualize collections of personal networks using the methodology proposed in: Ulrik Brandes, Juergen Lerner, Miranda J. Lubbers, Chris McCarty, and Jose Luis Molina "Visual Statistics for Collections of Clustered Graphs". Proc. IEEE Pacific Visualization Symp. (PacificVis'08), 2008 (link to pdf).

An exemplary dataset

The data we are going to use for illustration in this tutorial have been collected within a study analyzing personal networks of immigrants in Barcelona. The study has been conducted by EgoLab and funded by the Fundació ACSAR pel Comissionat per Immigració i Diàleg Intercultural de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona. For more on this study and its outcome see the book (in Catalan): Jose Luis Molina and Fabien Pelissier (eds.) (2010). Les xarxes socials de sikhs, xinesos i filipins a Barcelona. Barcelona: Fundació ACSAR. (Also see the following link.)

The data consists of 70 EgoNet interviews obtained from Chinese (21), Philippine (25), and Sikh (24) immigrants in Barcelona. Each respondent (ego) has answered four types of questions:

  1. questions about ego, including country of origin, years of residence, age, gender, religion, reasons for migrating, ...
  2. alters a list of 30 persons known to ego; the alters are the nodes in the personal network
  3. questions about alters including country of origin, country of residence, age, type of relation to ego, ...
  4. alter-alter ties (undirected) pairs of alters that know each other (according to the respondent)

Alter names have been replaced by numerical ids (0,1,...,29) and ego names by numerical ids precedeed by the terms chinese, filipinos, or sikhs, depending on the community.

The data can be downloaded from File:Signos public (right-click and choose save link as). To follow the steps outlined in this tutorial you should extract (unzip) this file on your computer.

The EgoNet2GraphML software

Converting EgoNet interviews into GraphML files

Visual analysis of personal networks on the individual level

Class-level analysis of personal networks

Defining a network partition based on node attributes

Definition of intra-class and inter-class tie weights

Visual analysis of individual personal networks on the class level

Tendency and dispersion in collections of personal networks