Dynamic Network Visualization

Moody, McFarland, Bender-deMoll (2005) “Dynamic Network Visualization“ American Journal of Sociology, volume 110 , pages 1206–1241


DNV_AJS_thumbIncreased interest in longitudinal social networks and the recognition that visualization fosters theoretical insight create a need for dynamic network visualizations, or network “movies.” This article confronts theoretical questions surrounding the temporal representations of social networks and technical questions about how best to link network change to changes in the graphical representation. The authors divide network movies into (1) static flip books, where node position remains constant but edges cumulate over time, and (2) dynamic movies, where nodes move as a function of changes in relations. Flip books are particularly useful in contexts where relations are sparse. For more connected networks, movies are often more appropriate. Three empirical examples demonstrate the advantages of different movie styles. A new software program for creating network movies is discussed in the appendix.