Social Network Analysis

Institution: see Organisers & Supporters

Programme of study: International Research Workshop

Lecturer: Dr. Raphael Heiberger, University of Bremen

Date: Monday, 10/09/18 – Wednesday, 12/09/18 (09.00-12.30 h)

Max. number of participants: 20

Credit Points: 5 CP for participating in the whole IRWS

Language of instruction: English


The rising prominence of social network analysis (SNA) has been mirrored in the development of specialized tools and computer programs for various kinds of networks. This general trend has been enhanced by the current data revolution. Innovative methods to study social networks are often developed in the R-framework. The workshop introduces various R-packages on SNA and enables participants to construct, analyze and visualize network data. First, we will concentrate on the different logic of each package in terms of graph initialization, their general advantages and disadvantages, and how to overcome those differences. After practising how to treat network data in R, we will focus on the utilization of a variety of network measures describing both actor positions and whole networks. Additionally, there exist many built-in algorithms for community detection and network evolution that can be easily applied after the first steps. After a short explanation of the mathematical and theoretical intuition of the concepts in question, we will apply them to multiple empirical examples.

Requirement of students: Experiences with R might be helpful but are not a requirement. The workshop uses RStudio as a development environment. Please install R and RStudio prior to the workshop. To install, follow these steps:

  1. Download the R-installer from Select and download the latest installer suitable to your operating system.
  2. Run the installer. Default settings are fine.
  3. Download RStudio
  4. Once the installation of R has completed successfully (and not before), run the RStudio installer.
  5. Open RStudio. It should open a window that looks similar to the image attached.
  6. Install R packages required for the workshop. To do that just type in the console install.packages(’MYLIB’) where MYLIB is a placeholder for the various packages we will need, especially:
  7. You can see if the package installation was successful by just loading a package
    with library(MYLIB). Note that there are no quotes now.

Recommended literature and pre-readings:

  • Marin, Alexandra & Barry Wellman (2011): Social Network Analysis: An Introduction. In: John Scott & Peter J. Carrington (Eds.): Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis. London/New Delhi: Sage, pp. 11-26.
  • Hanneman, Robert A. & Mark Riddle (2011): Concepts and Measures for Basic Network Analysis. In: John Scott & Peter J. Carrington (Eds.): Sage Handbook of Social Network Analysis. London/New Delhi: Sage, pp. 340-370.

You have to register for the 12th International Research Workshop to participate in this course.