CHAPTER 6 Social Network Analytics 

Many types of social networks exist. The most popular are undoubtedly Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. However, social networks are more than that. It could be any set of nodes (also referred to as vertices) connected by edges in a particular business setting. Examples of social networks could be:

  • Web pages connected by hyperlinks
  • Email traffic between people
  • Research papers connected by citations
  • Telephone calls between customers of a telco provider
  • Banks connected by liquidity dependencies
  • Spread of illness between patients

These examples clearly illustrate that social network analytics can be applied in a wide variety of different settings.

SOCIAL NETWORK DEFINITIONS

A social network consists of both nodes (vertices) and edges. Both need to be clearly defined at the outset of the analysis. A node (vertex) could be defined as a customer (private/professional), household/family, patient, doctor, paper, author, terrorist, web page, and so forth. An edge can be defined as a friend relationship, a call, transmission of a disease, reference, and so on. Note that the edges can also be weighted based on interaction frequency, importance of information exchange, intimacy, and emotional intensity. For example, in a churn prediction setting, the edge can be weighted according to the time two customers called each other during a specific period. Social networks can be represented as a sociogram. This is illustrated in Figure 6.1, whereby ...

Get Analytics in a Big Data World: The Essential Guide to Data Science and its Applications now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.