The Art and Science of Dynamic Network Visualization

Skye Bender-deMoll and Daniel A. McFarland (2006) The Art and Science of Dynamic Network Visualization Journal of Social Structure. Volume 7, Number 2.Draft pdf of JOSS

    ABSTRACT: Abstract: If graph drawing is to become a methodological tool instead of an illustrative art, many concerns need to be overcome. We discuss the problems of social network visualization, and particularly, problems of dynamic network visualization. We consider issues that arise from the aggregation of continuous-time relational data (“streaming” interactions) into a series of networks. We describe our experience developing SoNIA (Social Network Image Animator, as a prototype platform for testing and comparing layouts and techniques, and as a tool for browsing attribute-rich network data and for animating network dynamics over time. We also discuss strengths and weakness of existing layout algorithms and suggest ways to adapt them to sequential layout tasks. As such, we propose a framework for visualizing social networks and their dynamics, and we present a tool that enables debate and reflection on the quality of visualizations used in empirical research.