***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** I do not see a contradiction here. The definition is really a set of nodes (actors) together with a set of edges (ties) that connect pairs of actors. The definition does not specify how these ties are distributed across the set of actors. In addition, the set of ties can be empty, as when a group of strangers meet. As time passes, more and more ties are formed, and the network becomes gradually less fragmented until all nodes belong to the same component. If you do not allow networks to be fragmented, it is difficult to talk about the evolution of a network. I tend to reserve the term "different network" for different social relations (e.g., friendship and advice), or for the networks obtained by taking separate surveys of different groups, as when I collect network data separately within top management teams of 40 companies (ala the work of Nick Athanassiou). The latter case could be viewed as components but we don't do that because the respondents were not given the opportunity to report ties between the organizations. Steve Steve Borgatti Org Studies, Boston College [log in to unmask] >-----Original Message----- >From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On >Behalf Of Mueller-Prothmann >Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 06:30 >To: [log in to unmask] >Subject: [SOCNET] RFC about Basic Network Definitions > >***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > >Hi all, > >a very basic question and request for comments: > >Commonly, a social network is defined as a set of individual persons >(actors) that are connected through social relationships. On the other >hand, social network analysis (as an empirical method) includes models >of isolates (single actors that are not connected to the overall >network) or independent components (multiple actors that are connected >but not to the main component). Concepts of isolates and independent >components (also known as islands) are a contradiction to the above >cited network definition. In that case, we should rather speak of >different networks (than of one single network consisting of different >components) or we must modify our network definition. > >Does anybody know any literature that addresses this contradiction? Or >do you have any suggestions how to overcome it? > >All suggestions and comments are very welcome! > >Thank you! Best wishes > >Tobias > >-- >Tobias Müller-Prothmann >Dipl.-Soz. > >Freie Universitaet Berlin >Institute for Media and Communication Studies >Department of Information Science > >Malteserstr. 74-100 >D-12249 Berlin > >Tel. +49 (0)30 838 70854 >Fax. +49 (0)30 838 70722 >Email: mailto:[log in to unmask] >WWW: http://kommwiss.fu-berlin.de/mp.html > >_____________________________________________________________________ >SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social >network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send >an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line >UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message. _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.