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Clustering ensembles of social networks

  • Tracy M. Sweet (a1), Abby Flynt (a2) and David Choi (a3)

Recently there has been significant work in the social sciences involving ensembles of social networks, that is, multiple, independent, social networks such as students within schools or employees within organizations. There remains, however, very little methodological work on exploring these types of data structures. We present methods for clustering social networks with observed nodal class labels, based on statistics of walk counts between the nodal classes. We extend this method to consider only non-backtracking walks, and introduce a method for normalizing the counts of long walk sequences using those of shorter ones. We then present a method for clustering networks based on these statistics to explore similarities among networks. We demonstrate the utility of this method on simulated network data, as well as on advice-seeking networks in education.

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Network Science
  • ISSN: 2050-1242
  • EISSN: 2050-1250
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