[Research] Applying Social Network Analysis to small groups?
I often think that social network analysis does not really suit to my research needs (studying the effects of technology on small groups). But it seems that it could fit. In Social Network Analysis - The Science of Measuring, Visualizing and Simulating Social Relationships, the authors took an example on the soccer field:
The Rapid Vienna network consists of the 11 players on the field, and we observed who passed the ball to whom during the course of a match. The resulting graph consists of a number of players (nodes) and a number of passes (arrows). To the left is the graph that depicts Rapid’s passing game during the last 15 minutes of a soccer match between Rapid Vienna and Sturm Graz on December 7, 2003. As soon as we add additional information such as the players’ names and their positions (red = attack, green = midfield, yellow = defense), we have produced a network. Networks are graphs with additional information about nodes and/or arrows. Once the empirically calculated data have been transformed into a relational graph, vari-ous questions can be answered. Which player initiated the most passes (Jazic)? Who was on the receiving end of the most passes (Jazic)? Who controlled Rapid’s play (Jazic, Hoffman)? Which players were involved in the most combination pass plays (Jazic, Hofmann, Feldhofer, Martinez, Carics)? Who played together with whom and who didn’t (not a single pass from Ivanschitz to Wagner!)? Which combinations of players made up the back-bone of the team (e.g. the Feldhofer-Carics-Pashazadeh triad)? Which players had a simi-lar role (Ivanschitz / Martinez)? Where are the weak points of Rapid’s play (Kulovits)? Which players do I have to “shut down” to achieve maximum disruption of the flow of Rapid’s play (Jazic, Hofmann, Feldhofer)? To answer questions like these, social network analy-sis has developed a comprehensive set of measure-ment, visualization and simulation techniques.
The picture shows rapid’s passing game during the last 15 minutes of a soccer match between Rapid Vienna and Sturm Graz on December 7, 2003 (data by Harald Katzmair and Helmuth Neundlinger). Left: graph, Right: network: It's a bit what I had in mind with the catchbob analysis: analysing the number of interactions between the three persons and representing it with this kind of network: