SNA with NodeXL

SNA with NodeXL

This laboratory assignment involves you demonstrating that you are able to conduct basic social
network analysis using NodeXL.
The NodeXL dataset for this assignment is available on Wattle and is labelled “Abortion debate
WWW hyperlink network” (the file is called ProLifeProChoice.xlsx). This is a network of around
170 websites run by individuals and organisations who are involved in the abortion debate in
Australia. The data were collected around 2006 by Robert Ackland and Ann Evans from ADSRI,
and the websites have been coded as either “prolife”
or “prochoice”
(note: the URLs have been
anonymised).
Before undertaking this assignment you should first read the document titled “Assessment using
NodeXL further
instructions” on Wattle!
1. Complete network visualisation (1 marks)
Create a network map where node colour reflects abortion stance (red=prolife,
blue=prochoice),
node size is proportional to betweenness centrality and the node label is the URL. Include a
screenshot of this network in your assignment.
2. Networklevel
metrics summary (2 marks)
Briefly describe the network, using the following networklevel
metrics (make sure you explain in
words):
• size of network
• number of connected components
• density
• average geodesic distance
3. Nodelevel
metrics (2 marks)
Which node is most central in terms of indegree centrality? Which node is most central in terms of
outdegree centrality? Which node is most central in terms of betweenness centrality? Provide a
brief definition and interpretation for each of these measures.
4. Egonetwork construction and visualistion (1 marks)
Choose a node and construct its 1.5 degree egonetwork and include a screenshot in your
assignment.
5. Homophily indexes (4 marks)
Using the same approach we used with the “Divided They Blog” dataset, construct and interpret the
homogeneity and homophily indexes for prochoice
and prolife
websites.
DEMO8087 Online Research Methods – S2 2013
Some further instructions for the assessments using NodeXL
Here are some general comments and suggestions for Assessments 2-4, which all use NodeXL
(these instructions may be useful for other written work too):
• Make sure you name and university number is on the assignment
• Please use 1.5 line spacing so I have more room to provide corrections/suggestions
• Page numbers are helpful even for a small document
• Referencing: if you reference other people’s work please use the Harvard system. There is
now a document on Wattle about this.
• For assessments 3 and 4, please provide a title for your assignment e.g. “A hyperlink
network for ….”
• I would like to see a screenshot (or screenshots, if appropriate) of your network map. Please
make sure you crop the screenshot (using picture editing software, for example) so only the
network map is in the picture. If you just take a screenshot of the entire NodeXL application
or entire desktop, then it will be impossible to see the detail in the network map and I will
deduct marks for poor presentation.
• Please do not provide screenshots of worksheets. For example, if you are asked to provide
graph metrics, I do not want to see a screenshot of the graph metrics worksheet. Rather I
want you to either discuss the various graph metrics within a paragraph in your assignment
or else if you wish, you may create a word table for the graph metrics.
• Figures and Tables: these should all have titles and the figure/table number should be
referred to in the text. e.g. “the indegree of the seed sites is shown in Table 1.”
• If you are using colours for the nodes in a network map, you should provide a legend
explaining the colours either as part of the figure or else this should be explained in the text.
• Please discuss network statistics in writing. If you just provide a series of tables without any
text discussing the network statistics and what they mean, this will not be appropriate.
One of the challenges with assessments 2 and 3 (where you collect your own network data) is
choosing a “good” topic i.e. something that you are both interested in and will “work” in the sense
that you are able to successfully use NodeXL (and VOSON+NodeXL) to demonstrate your ability
to analyse the network. For the hyperlink network assignment (assessment 3), if you choose seed
sites that do not connect to each other or anyone else then this is going to be a problem for you!
Similarly if you choose a Twitter hashtag where there are no connections between the people who
tweeted with the hashtag, you are going to have problems with assessment 4. Please be prepared to
experiment!

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