The four dimensions of social network analysis: An overview of research methods, applications, and software tools


Social network based applications have experienced exponential growth in recent years. One of the reasons for this rise is that this application domain offers a particularly fertile place to test and develop the most advanced computational techniques to extract valuable information from the Web. The main contribution of this work is three-fold: (1) we provide an up-to-date literature review of the state of the art on social network analysis (SNA); (2) we propose a set of new metrics based on four essential features (or dimensions) in SNA; (3) finally, we provide a quantitative analysis of a set of popular SNA tools and frameworks. We have also performed a scientometric study to detect the most active research areas and application domains in this area. This work proposes the definition of four different dimensions, namely Pattern & Knowledge discovery, Information Fusion & Integration, Scalability, and Visualization, which are used to define a set of new metrics (termed degrees) in order to evaluate the different software tools and frameworks of SNA (a set of 20 SNA-software tools are analyzed and ranked following previous metrics). These dimensions, together with the defined degrees, allow evaluating and measure the maturity of social network technologies, looking for both a quantitative assessment of them, as to shed light to the challenges and future trends in this active area.

Information Fusion
Antonio Gonzalez-Pardo
Antonio Gonzalez-Pardo
PhD Computer Science

Profesor del Departamento de Informática. Sus principales intereses de investigación están relacionados con la inteligencia computacional y la metaheurística aplicada al análisis de redes sociales, y la optimización de problemas basados en grafos.