Category Archives: pubs & papers

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


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.

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.

Skye’s Bennington Thesis

Note: This is an HTML adaptation of the version of the thesis from 2001. Some of the ideas are a bit out of date. The original is avalible as a PDF (137 pages, 9.8mb).

Information transmission in social groups:
communication, networks, and interaction


Skye Bender de-Moll
May 2001

A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts.

Questions and comments are welcome.


I argue that for information transmission to occur there must be communicative contact between individuals. The patterns of contact then provide a set of outer limits for the extent of information spread. But an examination of a formalized communication process shows that the degree of information or knowledge transmitted may be related to the degree to which the communicants share similar bases of meanings and interpretive schemata. An individual’s cultural properties can be described as a set of schemata, frames, heuristics, historical meanings, and behaviors. Acts of communication among individuals lead to increasing similarity along these cultural dimensions, which may change the likelihood of future interactions, and the effectiveness of existing communicative relations. These longer time scale modifications of social structure often feed back into the process, causing systems to behave in a complex and possibly counter-intuitive manner. Ideally, the analysis of the formal properties and behaviors of such systems might shed some light on some of the observed trends and biases in human communication and the processes involved in the formation of social groups. Analyses of a study of self-report name recognition and communication networks among the incoming class at Bennington College are presented, and some implications discussed.

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