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For those interested in a summary of texts which deal specifically with egocentric network data, I have compiled responses from the list:

I am developing a program for egocentered networks that I hope to distribute (for free) at the network meetings in Cancun.  The program is written in Java and designed for the collection and output of ego networks into a data set that is easily analyzed in existing statistical packages.  The program will eventually include a library of questions that have been used by ego network researchers, but it will take any questions you want to use.  The program facilitates the collection of structural data on ego networks and calculates five structural measures (degree centrality, closeness centrality, betweenness centrality, number of cliques and number of components). This is a Beta version and will be used this fall to collect 200 ego networks on respondents who are clinically depressed and those who are  not. 




Chris McCarty, Survey Director

Bureau of Economic and Business Research

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL  32611-7145

Phone: (352) 392-2908 x101

FAX: (352) 392-4739


MultiNet is very happy with egocentric network data, even though there

are some types of analysis

that it cannot do with this kind of data. A simpler program, FATCAT, was

designed specifically

for egocentric data. You can find it at http://www.sfu.ca/~richards.


Bill Richards



About working with ego-centric data, I know only a few references useful on the subject:

- Müller, C., B. Wellman, and A. Marin. 1999. "How to use SPSS to study ego-centered networks." Bulletin de méthodologies sociologiques (BMS) 64:63-76. http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman/publications/howtousespss/article.html

- Marsden (2002). Notes on Handling Egocentric Data.pdf http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~soc275/handouts/Notes_on_Handling_Egocen



There is not much methodological materials dedicated to the analysis of ego-centered dataset. In fact some of the most useful reference I know about working with such information are from anthropologists. If you are not familiar with these references you might want to check them out from your library. They are worth knowing, especially because they are among the few and probably some of the best documented analytical works ever done, and they were done in Africa. They include the studies done by Barnes, Kapferer, and Wheeldon. Some of it is located in Zimbabwe.


Mitchell, J.C. 1969. "The concept and use of social networks." Pp. 1-50 in Social networks in urban situations: analyses of personal relationships in Central African towns, edited by J.C. Mitchell. Manchester,: Published for the Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia by Manchester U.P. -. 1969. Social networks in urban situations: analyses of personal relationships in Central African towns. Manchester,: Published for the Institute for Social Research University of Zambia by Manchester U.P. -. 1974. "Social Networks." Annual Review of Anthropology 3:279-299. Boissevain, J.and J.C. Mitchell. 1973. Network analysis: studies in human interaction. The Hague,: Mouton.


Here are also a few more recent and pretty useful ressources too:


Scott J. Social network analysis : a handbook. 2nd ed. London ; Thousands Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2000.


Trotter RT, 2nd. Friends, relatives, and relevant others: conducting ethnographic network studies (Chap. 1). In: Schensul JJ, ed. Mapping social networks, spatial data & hidden populations (The ethnographer's toolkit, v.4). Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1999: 1-50.


James Moody (Ohio State University) has also several very neat PPT presentations. Some of the datasets are ego-centered. http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/jwm/presentations/index.htm

for socnet methods http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/jwm/SocialNetworks.htm

Adolescent Social Networks (including his dissertation on-line) http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/jwm/adol_soc_net.htm


Found this link. Looks interesting too. Done by UCINET developers. Note also that UCINET computes from full network data ego-centered measures. http://www.analytictech.com/networks/topics.htm


Sociometrica / LinkAnalyzer can also be an interesting piece of software to link ego-centered datasets.

>web site address: www.md-logic.com or www.mdlogix.com


Let me know if you get some other interesting resources on the subject.



Patrick Gerland                 Princeton University

Phone: 1 (609) 258-4941 x.2     Office of Population Research

Email: [log in to unmask]   219 Wallace Hall

Fax:   1 (609) 258-1039         Princeton, NJ 08544, U.S.A.

Web:   http://opr.princeton.edu/students/pgerland.html



First a general thought:

It would help if folks gave more info about their projects before asking for help. Both Heather-Lyn and Olga's requests are sparse.


Second, as usual I have (co)written germane stuff on this topic:


Wellman, Barry. 1999. "The Network Community." Pp. 1-48 in Networks in the Global Village, edited by Barry Wellman. Boulder, CO: Westview. [review article, not methodological]


Wellman, Barry. 1996. "Are Personal Communities Local? A Dumptarian Reconsideration." Social Networks 18: 347-354.


Wellman, Barry. 1992. "How to Use SAS to Study Egocentric Networks." Cultural Anthropology Methods 4 (2): 6-12.


Müller, Christoph, Barry Wellman and Alexandra Marin. 1999. "How to Use SPSS to Study Ego-Centered Networks." Bulletin de Methode Sociologique 69: 83-100.


Haythornthwaite, Caroline and Barry Wellman. 1996. "Using SAS to Convert Ego-Centered Networks to Whole Networks." Bulletin de Methode Sociologique

50: 71-84.


Wellman, Barry. 1981. "Applying Network Analysis to the Study of Support." Pp. 171-200 in Social Networks and Social Support, edited by Benjamin Gottlieb. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.


Wellman, Barry and Kenneth Frank. 2001. "Network Capital in a Multilevel

World: Getting Support from Personal Communities." Pp. 233-73 in Social Capital, edited by Nan Lin, Ronald S. Burt and Karen Cook. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine De Gruyter. [multilevel analysis]




 Barry  ___________________________________________________________________


  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director

  [log in to unmask]   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman


Hi Heather-Lyn,

see my article (forthcoming in the next issue of CONNECTIONS):




Best regards,





Dr. Volker G. Täube

Bundesamt für Statistik (BFS / OFS / UFT)

- Sektion: Hochschulen und Wissenschaft -

Espace de l'Europe 10

CH-2010 Neuchâtel


Tel.: +41 - (0)32 / 713 68 20

Mail to: [log in to unmask]

Webpage: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/



Heather-Lyn Haley, MA

Special Projects Assistant

Community Faculty Development Center

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Benedict Bldg.  Suite A3-221

55 Lake Ave NorthWorcester, MA 01655

508-856-1366  *  508-856-2175 fax

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