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Paul Love has completed

Network Analysis in the Tidyverse

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4 hours
3,950 XP
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Course Description

If you've ever wanted to understand more about social networks, information networks, or even the neural networks of our brains, then you need to know network science! It will demonstrate network analysis using several R packages, including dplyr, ggplot2, igraph, ggraph as well as visNetwork. You will take on the role of Interpol Analyst and investigate the terrorist network behind the Madrid train bombing in 2004. Following the course, you will be able to analyse any network with basic centrality and similarity measures and create beautiful and interactive network visualizations.
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  1. 1

    The hubs of the network


    The challenge in this chapter is to spot the most highly connected terrorists in the network. We will first import the dataset and build the network. Then we will learn how to visualize it in different layouts using ggraph package. Later on, we will compute two basic yet important centrality measures in network science - degree and strength. We will use them to spot highly connected terrorists. We will finally touch two alternative centrality measures, betweenness and closeness.

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    Network Science
    50 xp
    Explore the dataset
    100 xp
    Build and explore the network (part 1)
    100 xp
    Build and explore the network (part 2)
    100 xp
    Visualizing networks
    50 xp
    Visualize the network (part 1)
    100 xp
    Visualize the network (part 2)
    100 xp
    Centrality measures
    50 xp
    Find the most connected terrorists
    100 xp
    Find the most strongly connected terrorists
    100 xp
    More on centrality
    50 xp
  2. 2

    In its weakness lies its strength

    In this chapter we will spot the most influential ties among terrorists in the network. We will use a centrality measure on ties, called betweenness, and will learn how to visualize the network highlighting connections with high betweenness centrality. Moreover, we will provide some alternative evidence regarding Mark Granovetter's theory of strength of weak ties, confirming that looser connections are crucial as demonstrated in the Madrid terrorism network.

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  3. 3

    Connection patterns

    The challenge in this chapter is to discover pairs of similar (and dissimilar) terrorists. We will introduce the adjacency matrix as a mathematical representation of a network and use it to find terrorists with similar connection patterns. We will also learn how to visualize similar and dissimilar pairs of individuals using ggraph.

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  4. 4

    Similarity clusters

    In this chapter we will discover cells of similar terrorists. We will explore hierarchical clustering to find groups of similar terrorists building on the notion of similarity of connection patterns developed in the previous chapter. Furthermore, we will explore the visNetwork package to produce fulfilling interactive network visualizations.

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Nodes of the networkTies of the network


Collaborator's avatar
Chester Ismay
Collaborator's avatar
Becca Robins
Massimo Franceschet HeadshotMassimo Franceschet

Professor of Data Science at the University of Udine (Italy)

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