Social network analysis software

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Social network analysis software is used to identify, represent, analyze, visualize, or simulate nodes (e.g. agents, organizations, or knowledge) and edges (relationships) from various types of input data (relational and non-relational), including mathematical models of social networks. The output data can be saved in external files. Various input and output file formats exist.

Network analysis tools allow researchers to investigate representations of networks of different size - from small (e.g. families, project teams) to very large (e.g. the Internet, disease transmission). The various tools provide mathematical and statistical routines that can be applied to the network model.

Visual representations of social networks are important to understand network data and convey the result of the analysis [1]. Visualization is often used as an additional or standalone data analysis method. With respect to visualization, network analysis tools are used to change the layout, colors, size and other properties of the network representation.

social network tools are:

  • For scholarly research tools like UCINet [2], Pajek [3], ORA [4], the statnet [5] suite of packages in R, and GUESS [6] are popular.
  • Examples of business oriented social network tools include InFlow[7], Keyhubs [8], NetMiner [9]].
  • An open source package with GUI for Linux, Windows and Mac, is Social Networks Visualizer or SocNetV [10], developed in Qt/C++.
  • Another generic open source package for Windows, Linux and OS X with interfaces to Python and R is "igraph" [11]
  • For Mac OS X a related package installer of SocNetV [12] is available.
  • For integrated egocentric data collection and visualization SocioMetrica

A systematic overview and comparison of a selection of software packages for social network analysis was provided by Huisman and Van Duijn (see references or Draft(PDF)). A large list of software packages and libraries can be found under Computer Programs for Social Network Analysis, maintained by the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA).

Collection of Social Network Analysis Tools and Libraries

Product  ↓ Main Functionality  ↓ Input Format  ↓ Output Format  ↓ Platform  ↓ Cost  ↓ Notes  ↓
AutoMap[13] Network Text Analysis .txt DyNetML[14], .csv Any (it's in Java) Freeware for non-commercial use Text mining tool that supports the extraction of relational data from texts. Distills three types of information: content analysis, semantic networks, ontologically coded networks. In order to do this, a variety of Natural Language Processing/ Information Extraction routines is provided (e.g. Stemming, Parts of Speech Tagging, Named-Entity Recognition, usage of user-defined ontologies, reduction and normalization, Anaphora Resolution, email data analysis, feature identification, entropy computation, reading and writing from and to default or user-specified database).
Commetrix [15] Dynamic network visualization & analysis Commetrix-Files, direct import from data sources/DB's, (standard DB and File Specs upcoming) CSV Tables for SNA Metrics over time,(Graph Videos per Screencast), Keywords, Graphs, etc. in GUI Any system supporting java (developed for Windows Platform) Free trial, commercial licenses, free research collaboration (in beta-user group), Commetrix is a Software Framework and Tool for Dynamic Network Analysis and Visualization. It provides easy exploratory access to network graphs and has been applied to study co-authorship, Instant Messaging, manual SNA surveys, e-mail, newsgroups, etc. Each node and each linking event can have properties, e.g. types of messages or rank of nodes, but also types, topics, or time stamps. This allows animations of network growth, structural change, and topic diffusion. A short introductory video is available on the website.
DyNet [16] Data analysis *.agf(proprietary), *.net(pajek), *.txt *.agf(proprietary), *.net(pajek), *.txt ? Proprietary(starting from $3000/user) DyNet SE (Standard Edition) is an innovative software tool to analyse pools of complex data unveiling relations and interconnections via graphical and verbose outputs. DyNet SE is based on social network theory therefore relational data is visualised in terms of networks.
EgoNet Active Development or Explanation Ego-centric network analysis Conducts interviews or takes any valid XML file Output to CSV and convertible to almost any other format Any system supporting Java Open Source, seeking contributors Egonet is a program for the collection and analysis of egocentric network data. Egonet contains facilities to assist in creating the questionnaire, collecting the data and providing general global network measures and data matrixes that can be used in further analysis by other software programs.
igraph[17] Analysis and visualization of very large networks .txt (edge list), .graphml, .dot, .gml, .ncol, .lgl, .net .txt (edge list), .graphml, .dot. .gml, .ncol, .lgl, .net Windows, Linux, Mac OS X Open source (GNU GPL) igraph is a C library for the analysis of large networks. It includes fast implementations for classic graph theory problems and recent network analysis methods like community structure search, cohesive blocking, structural holes, dyad and triad census and motif count estimation. Higher level interfaces are available for R, Python and Ruby.
InFlow [18] Interactive network mapping and network metrics in one integrated application for social and organizational network analysis. Easy data import from Microsoft Office[PC/MAC] and CSV files Export graphics to Microsoft Office [PC/MAC] -- Powerpoint, Word, Visio -- and network files to interactive Java applet for WWW Windows 2000, XP, Vista Commercial, Site, and Academic licenses available. Training & Mentoring in social network analysis, data gathering, and software application, is also available. InFlow is intended for business users, and is designed for ease-of-use, multiple networks per node set, and what-if capabilities. Network data can be entered via 1) CSV files, from data bases and spreadsheets, 2) automated survey tools such as NetworkGenie, Optimice, etc. 3) data entry screens with paper surveys, or 4) drawn by hand with mouse, using node & link tools in graphics window. Most popular network metrics included: Density, Geodesics, Freeman Centralities, Watts-Strogatz Small World, Structural Equivalence, Cluster Analysis, Krackhardt E/I Ratio, and Krebs Reach & Weighted Average Path Length. Metrics are executed based on current network view -- you measure what is mapped. Many network layouts are possible using automated algorithms and geometric layouts[arcs, lines, etc] resulting in an unlimited number of custom views. Different actions can be taken on selected nodes vs. unselected nodes. Projects using InFlow can be viewed here [19].
Java Universal Network/Graph (JUNG) Framework network and graph manipulation, analysis, and visualization built-in support for GraphML, Pajek, and some text formats; user can create parsers for any desired format built-in support for GraphML, Pajek, and some text formats; user can create exporters for any desired format Any platform supporting Java Open source (BSD license) JUNG is a Java API and library that provides a common and extensible language for the modeling, analysis, and visualization of relational data. It supports a variety of graph types (including hypergraphs), supports graph elements of any type and with any properties, enables customizable visualizations, and includes algorithms from graph theory, data mining, and social network analysis (e.g., clustering, decomposition, optimization, random graph generation, statistical analysis, distances, flows, and centrality (PageRank, HITS, etc.)). It has been used to analyze networks in excess of 1 million nodes (although visualizations are currently more limited), and is limited only by the amount of memory allocated to Java.
Keyhubs [20] A Simple, Online Tool for Mapping Informal Networks Any platform supporting Internet Explorer Free (Limited Version), Monthly Software Subscription (Full Version) Keyhubs allows managers and business leaders to map human relationships (informal networks) in their organization quickly and easily via a simple, online software service:
KrackPlot [21] Network visualization UCINET, Mathematica UCINET, Mathematica ? ? KrackPlot is a program for network visualization designed for social network analysts.
libSNA [22] Basic network statistics Csv Csv Any platform supporting python Open source(LGPL) libSNA is the premier open source library for conducting SNA research. Written in the object oriented programming language Python, libSNA provides a simple programming interface for applying SNA to large scale networks. libSNA is built on top of the open source library networkX; without networkX, libSNA would not be possible.
MetaSight [23] Email/communication network visualization and analysis email ? ? Commercial MetaSight is an enterprise social software application which uses data from routine e-mail to infer and map business expertise and relationships.
NodeXL [24] Network overview, discovery and exploration email, .csv (text), .txt, .xls (Excel), .xslt (Excel 2007), .net (Pajek) .csv (text), .txt, .xls (Excel), .xslt (Excel 2007) Windows XP/Vista Free (MPL) NodeXL is an Excel 2007 Add-in and C#/.Net library for network analysis and visualization. It integrates into Excel 2007 and adds directed graph as a chart type to the spreadsheet. Supports extracting email social networks. Allows for easy manipulation of underlying data in spreadsheet format.
NetMiner [25] All-in-one Software for Network Analysis and Visualization .xls(Excel), .csv(text), .dl(UCINET), .net(Pajek), .dat(StOCNET), .gml; NMF(proprietary) .xls(Excel), .csv(text), .dl(UCINET), .net(Pajek), .dat(StOCNET), NMF(proprietary) Microsoft Windows Commercial ($16/user ~ $6,600/user) with free trial NetMiner is a software tool for exploratory analysis and visualization of network data. Main features include : analysis of large networks, comprehensive network measures and models, both exploratory & confirmatory analysis, interactive visual analytics, what-if network analysis, built-in statistical procedures and charts, full documentation(1,000+ pages of User's Manual), expressive network data model, facilities for data & workflow management , and user-friendliness.
Network Genie [26] Social Network Survey Data collection Online survey and project design environment Output to CSV, InFLow[27], UCINET[28], NEGOPY [29] and MultiNet [30] Any web browser Payment assessed for the number of egos who complete surveys. $3.00 per ego with volume discounts. Network Genie is used to: (1) Design complete and egocentric network surveys using a wide variety of survey question formats; (2) Manage social network projects, including manage a collaborative team who have privileges defined by a project coordinator; (3) Collect social network data using online forms; and (4) Download and export data to the social network analysis program of your choice. Registration is free.
Network Workbench[31][32] Modeling, Analysis and Visualization of Large Scale Networks .net, .mat, .graphml, .nwb, .csv, xgmml .net, .mat, .graphml, .nwb, .csv, xgmml, .eps, .pdf Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Solaris Open Source (Apache 2.0) Over 70 different algorithms to use (including GUESS and DrL)
NetworkX[33] NetworkX is a Python package for the creation, manipulation, and study of the structure, dynamics, and functions of complex networks. built-in support for many text formats; user can create parsers for any desired format Any platform supporting Python version >= 2.4 Open source (GPL and similar) Free NetworkX (NX) is a rich integrated toolset for graph creation, manipulation, analysis, and visualization. User interface is through scripting/command-line provided by python. NX includes a large set of key algorithms,

metrics and graph generators. Visualization is provided through pylab and graphviz. NX is an open-source project, in active development since < 2004 with an open bug-tracking site, and user forums. Development is sponsored by Los Alamos National Lab, and includes extensive unit-testing.

Onasurveys [34] Social Network Survey Data collection Online survey and project design environment Output to Microsoft Excel, Inflow[35] and Netdraw[36] Microsoft Internet Explorer Subscription based. Unlimited number of surveys. Pricing for commercial and academic use. Onasurveys is a fast and very user friendly tool aimed primarily at practitioners. Free registration provides full functionality, but export is limited to first 5 nodes.
ORA[37] Social Network Analysis DyNetML[38], .csv DyNetML, .csv Windows Freeware for non-commercial use Risk assessment tool for locating individuals or groups that are potential risks given social, knowledge and task network information. Based on network theory, social psychology, operations research, and management theory a series of measures of "criticality" have been implemented into ORA. find those people, types of skills or knowledge and tasks that are critical from a performance and information security perspective.
Pajek[39][40] Analysis and Visualization of Large Scale Networks .net, .paj, .dat(UCINET), .ged, .bs, .mac, .mol .net, .paj, .dat(UCINET), .xml(graphML), .bs Windows, Linux, Mac OS X Freeware for non-commercial use A widely used program for drawing networks, Pajek also has significant analytical capabilities, and can be used to calculate most centrality measures, identify structural holes, block-model, and so on. Macros can be recorded to perform repetitive tasks. Data can be sent directly to R, to calculate additional statistics.
R Social network analysis within the versatile and popular R environment R will read in almost any format data file R has write capability for most data formats Windows, Linux, Mac Open source R contains several packages relevant for social network analysis: igraph is a generic network analysis package; sna performs sociometric analysis of networks; network manipulates and displays network objects; ergm implements exponential random graph models for networks; latentnet has functions for network latent position and cluster models; degreenet provides tools for statistical modeling of network degree distributions; and networksis provides tools for simulating bipartite networks with fixed marginals. Most of these packages are part of the statnet suite, obtainable through the statnet meta-package.
Sentinel Visualizer [41] Comprehensive network analysis and visualization Structured XML and unstructured documents in Word, PDF, Excel, Text and HTML formats. Structured XML and unstructured documents in Word, PDF, Excel, Text and HTML formats. Microsoft Windows Commercial(starting from $2000/user) Sentinel Visualizer is a Windows-based program that provides data visualization, analysis and knowledgebase management all within one product. Sentinel Visualizer produces interactive dynamic link charts, timeline and geospatial views, and provides a variety of analysis tools including Social Network Analysis, temporal analysis and entity and relationship weighting. Sentinel Visualizer includes a multi-user knowledgebase for efficiently and economically storing analysis data.
SocioMetrica [42] EgoNet, LinkAlyzer, and VisuaLyzer applications DyNetML, Excel, DL, text, UCINET DyNetML, Excel, DL, text, UCINET, SPSS Windows Shareware A set of applications for interview-based gathering of egocentric data (EgoNet), linking of data records through matching of node attributes (LinkAlyzer), and visualization (VisuaLyzer). VisuaLyzer also provides prototype functionality for analysis using a relational algebra model. A relational programming language, RAlog, derives and analyzes representations in this relation algebra.
SocNetV [43] Social Networks Visualisation and Analysis Tool .net (pajek), .dot (GraphViz), .sm/.net (Sociomatrix), .xml (GraphML) .net (pajek), .dot (GraphViz), .sm/.net (Sociomatrix) Linux, Windows, Mac (Qt toolkit needed) Free Software (GPL3) SocNetV (Social Networks Visualiser) is an open-source GUI tool, developed in C++ programming language and the cross-platform Qt toolkit. Its primary purpose is to make easier for the researcher to draw social networks or plain graphs by clicking on a canvas. It can also compute network properties and statistics (centralities, etc) as well as apply various layout algorithms - for instance, nodes can be automatically positioned on circles or levels according to their betweeness centralities. Random networks creation is also supported. SocNetV can handle any number of nodes, although with a speed penalty when nodes are more than 3000 or the graph is quite dense (many edges).
SONIVIS [44] Network visualisation and analysis, especially Wiki-based information spaces .xml(graphML) .xml(graphML) Windows, Linux open-source (GPL) SONIVIS:Tool is a Java-based, open-source application, which is based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). The user interface is organized into three main perspectives: Analysis, Manipulation, and Statistics. Besides various Wiki and network analysis metrics, the tool provides predefined and user-definable graphical analyses. It offers a quick overview on current Wiki states or developments
statnet [45] Social network analysis within the versatile and popular R environment R will read in almost any format data file R has write capability for most data formats Windows, Linux, Mac Open source (GPL) A suite of R packages for social network analysis: sna performs sociometric analysis of networks; network manipulates and displays network objects; ergm implements exponential random graph models for networks; latentnet has functions for network latent position and cluster models; degreenet provides tools for statistical modeling of network degree distributions; and networksis provides tools for simulating bipartite networks with fixed marginals; the statnet meta-package allows for package management.
tnet [46] Social network analysis of weighted and longitudinal networks in R R will read in almost any format data file R has write capability for most data formats Windows, Linux, Mac Open source (GPL) A packages for social network analysis of weighted and longitudinal networks. Possible extensions are discussed here [47]
UCINET [48] Social Network Analysis tool Excel, DL, text, Pajek .net, Krackplot, Negopy, proprietary (##.d & ##.h) Excel, DL, text, Pajek .net, Krackplot, Mage, Metis, proprietary (##.d & ##.h) Windows Shareware A comprehensive package for the analysis of social network data as well as other 1-mode and 2-mode data. Can handle a maximum of 32,767 nodes (with some exceptions) although practically speaking many procedures get too slow around 5,000 - 10,000 nodes. Social network analysis methods include centrality measures, subgroup identification, role analysis, elementary graph theory, and permutation-based statistical analysis. In addition, the package has strong matrix analysis routines, such as matrix algebra and multivariate statistics.
UNISoN [49] Download usenet messages and save SNA output files Reads from free NNTP servers Creates CSV files and Pajek .net files Any system supporting Java Freeware A java application that can download Usenet messages from free NNTP servers, show the saved messages, then allow filtering of data to save to a Pajek network file or CSV file. It creates networks using the author of each post. If someone replies to a post, there is a unidirectional link created from the author of the post to the author of the message they are replying to. There is also a preview panel that shows the network visually.
UrlNet [50] Generation of social network analysis program input files World Wide Web pages, online search engine result sets, and Internet Web Service APIs currently generates Pajek projects [51] and GUESS .gdf files [52] Any (it's written in Python, requires v2.5 or higher [53]; source code is included) Freeware for non-commercial use UrlNet is a Python class library for generating networks based on Internet linkages. In the simplest case, UrlNet creates a tree by harvesting the outlink URLs from the page referenced by a root URL (level zero); retrieving each of those pages (level 1), harvesting their outlink URLs; retrieving those pages (level 2), harvesting their outlink URLs; et cetera to a caller-specified depth. UrlNet can also create "forests", the union of multiple tree networks. Specialized classes are provided for generation of networks from search engine result sets (6 search engines are currently supported).

UrlNet can also utilize URL-based Web Service APIs to generate networks. Current examples include Technorati's Cosmos API and three types of networks utilizing APIs provided by the National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) [54]. More than 20 example programs are provided, along with a 65-page user manual, to help Python programmers get up to speed.

VisuaLyzer [55] Network visualization Edgelist/Edgearray, Excel or GraphML formats Edgelist/Edgearray, Excel or GraphML formats ? Commercial Interactive tool for entering, visualizing and analyzing social network data.

Create nodes and links directly in VisuaLyzer, or import data from Edgelist/Edgearray, Excel or GraphML formats.

WAND [56] Ecological network analysis Scor files Scor files Microsoft Windows Open source(GPL)

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