Category Archives: past-projects

a listing of some projects I’ve been a part of in the last several years:

Concurrency and Reachability movie

Animated gif clip of concurrency movie
View as: QuickTime | YouTube | other formats.

A movie premier! Yup, this week we are releasing a scare-thriller by the name of Concurrency and Reachability: transmission in a dynamic network. Don’t let the title fool you, the topic is a bit sexier than it sounds, as the underlying network model used to simulate disease transmission was derived from data on real-world sex contact networks.
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CorpWatch API lauch!

For the past several months, Greg and I have been working on project to scrape corporate subsidiary ownership relations from Securities Exchange Commission filings. The first part of the project launched today! So now you can pull down company names and relationships for more than 200,000 publicly traded U.S. corporations and their subsidiaries from If writing code is not your thing, we also built an interactive browser for the data at

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Oilmoney Redux

The main conference on Social Network Analysis was is in San Diego this year, so I decided to make a trip down. Was nice to step away from the screen and see old and new faces from the far-flung research community. Amusingly, the conference landed in the middle of spring break celebrations, so there were bearded academics wandering geekily around in crowds of drunken sunburnt 20-something revelers.

prezoilmoney movie placeholderI gave a presentation at the very tail end of the conference to demonstrate some features of the oilmoney website—including a presidential contribution movie, and bit of analysis on the data. Much of this will be familiar to anyone who has read these earlier posts, but the stat stuff is new.
Warning: the rest of this post is pretty geeky, read at your own risk ;-)

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dynamicnetwork JSS Paper

Well shoot, I guess it is publication week! The special issue of the Journal of Statistical Software about the statnet package for advanced network statistics has finally been released. It is great to see the years of hard work from everyone on the statnet team finally in print! I did some work for the project to hook up the package with SoNIA software to create movies from output of statistical models of dynamic networks of disease transmission. One of the articles in the issue documents the process and includes some example movies:
Skye Bender-deMoll, Martina Morris, James Moody (2008) “Prototype Packages for Managing and Animating Longitudinal Network Data: dynamicnetwork and rSoNIA” Journal of Statistical Software. Vol. 24, Issue 7.

One of the exciting things for me about the project was exploring ways to display time, connectivity, and transmission simultaneously. An example of one of the movies demonstrating the effects of varying levels of “concurrent partnerships” on the paths of transmission of simulated “infection”: (70mb quicktime movie). In the last few frames of the movie, the perspective shifts to show a timeline image of the infection “trees” in occurring in the simulated network.

infection treesIn the tree image (created by James Moody) time advances vertically down the page, so the seed nodes for each infection appear at the top and the “depth” of the tree indicates the time step of the infection. The color of each edge indicates the concurrency status of the corresponding relationship when the transmission occurred.

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Bibliography on humanitarian and human rights uses of networks

This bibliography was collected while doing research for a report to the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program on Potential Human Rights Uses of Network Analysis and Network Mapping (pdf). The articles were located through my own (mostly web based) research and from the kind recommendations of the SOCNET listserv. Several of the cites are general network analysis lit, and not everything appeared in the paper. I’m sure there are many relevant articles I’ve overlooked, and I’m sorry if I left out anything someone sent me. The list is an export from my bibtext file, if anything got mangled in export, please let me know and I will send you the bibliography file.

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Network Mapping for Human Rights

[NOTE: as of 2013, AAAS network mapping is offline, links have been altered to point to Internet Archive versions]
Well, its several months overdue, but I finally finished my report to the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program on network analysis and mapping. The goal was to give a non-academic introduction to network concepts and related fields, survey some relevant academic and humanitarian projects, and make some proposals.

Potential Human Rights Uses of Network Analysis and Mapping:
A report to the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(pdf, 47p)

front page of network mapping report
The report also includes a number of visual examples (thanks to the authors for allowing me to include samples of their work). Also thanks to the members of the SOCNET listserv for recommendations. It was really great to have an opportunity to discover what work is being done, and dig up interesting data sets and applications (see grassroots network mapping, I’ll post others as well). At the same time, I’m sure there are a number of worthy and relevant projects that I have overlooked, so please contact me or SHRP with more examples.


One lovely network visualization included was this above. It shows warm-up exercise for participants in a network mapping workshop for a Colombian farmer collective. Colored wool was used to represent the various communication paths by which participants received invitations to the workshop. (From B. Douthwaite, A. Carvajal, S. Alvarez, E. Claros, and L.A. Hernández. “Building farmers’ capacities for networking (Part I): Strengthening rural groups in Colombia through network analysis.” Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 2(2), 2006.

Follow-the-oilmoney lives!

Well, it has not been officially launched yet, but the oil company campaign contribution site we’ve been working on for the last six months is live. It leaked out on blogs this week, and has been getting good reviews and tons of traffic. We are excited! The site is a project of Oil Change International and another collaboration between myself and Greg Michalec. It shows interactive network maps of campaign contributions to presidential races and members of congress. The same data is also shown in drillable tables, so you can go from a politician, to the contributing oil companies, all the way to the image of the original FEC filing. It also permits searching for congress members by name and constituent zip code.

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Oil Change Web App Report

oilchange report cover

This document outlined some of the problems we ran into while building the Follow the Oil Money contribution network mapping application. It was written in November 2007, partially as a proposal, so many things changed in the real version. Also, most of the links are dead, as they pointed to an internal server. More info here.

An Interactive Web Application for viewing Oil Industry Contribution Network Data
Report to Oil Change International by Skye Bender-deMoll and Greg Michalec