Social Network Analysis: a Practical Case Study

Antonieta Kuz, Mariana Falco, Roxana Giandini


Social networks are considered a new way of socialization; they can function as a source of interaction among people enabling contextualization of social phenomena between individuals and the emerged inherent relationships. Various computational tools along with the metrics they provide serve as a knowledge base while applied practically on such relevant topic as the Social Network Analysis (SNA). Focusing on Gephi as an SNA tool, simple to use and understand in terms of metrics and visualizations, we discuss a practical case study in education where we evaluate the dynamics of asynchronous communication in a forum within the context of SNA. It is evident that the SNA metrics and a display of the structure of the nodes and interactions are useful and potentially effective for an online analysis of interaction patterns. Integrating this SNA approach into the educational context will allow the teacher to detect and diagnose the social climate and act according to the results. Finally, we present conclusions concerning the methodology and its utility in this domain, as well as future lines of work.


Social network analysis, software tools, metrics, social network, Gephi

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