The analysis of networks of actors (e.g., people, organizations, or things) to characterize or explain social structures is an important task in social sciences. Methods to analyze such social networks are based for example on calculations of role assignments and structural measures like centrality, decompositions, and on the classification of networks.
In this project new algorithms to integrate the analysis and the visualization of relevant structural properties of social networks are developed in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes of Universität Konstanz. Hitherto, in social sciences, the visualization of networks was primarily used to illustrate the results of an analysis, but nowadays visualization techniques already supporting the process of analysis are considered. Algorithmic research has not yet concerned itself with such methods. Certainly, there are numerous algorithms for the visualization of networks in general, however, objectives arising in the analysis of social networks are not tackled.
After focusing on actor-related measures like centrality and methods for identifying actors with the same function in the network, so called structural roles this year the attention was turned on meaningful visualizations of grouped networks and drawing techniques for evolving graphs. Furthermore, the accompanying software tool visone, which makes all these methods available to users in research and teaching, was significantly extended.
Home page: http://visone.info