***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** On Fri, Apr 14, 2006 at 11:02:55PM +0700, Rick Davies wrote: > Network diagrams are descriptions (albeit selective ones), and they only > make sense in the light of expectations, assumptions, or theories, of what > should be there. Sharpening Rick's point, consider diagrammatic techniques to form languages. This is good and bad at the same time, since it means that they allow, e.g., for good and bad expressions, (mis)interpretations, cultural and contextual dependencies, etc. Some things are just easier to formulate or understand in one language rather than another. > On 4/14/06, patrick rose <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > 1) How can I respond to his/her criticisms? All you need is a good argument why your visualizations ease the communication of some network-related information. This assumes that your diagrams are of good quality (not only in terms of resolution) and make a point that might otherwise by missed or difficult to understand. Maybe they act as a summary or memorization of what otherwise extends over several paragraphs. > > 2) Whar are some general purposes of sociograms and any references that I > > can take a look at and/or cite. As regards references, I point to those Joerg sent (how wouldn't I?) The general purpose is conveying information about the network. This is less stupid than it may sound, because it is a question of whether a diagram is effective for the specific information or not. To answer this question, you have to be aware of the precise information that is to be conveyed, how to represent it graphically, and how to actually produce a diagram that realizes your design [the substance/design/algorithm argument in J. Theoretical Politics 1999]. A particular strength of network information visualization is the ability to express complex dependencies compactly. See Brandes, Kenis, Raab: Explanation Through Network Visualization. Methodology 2(1):16-23, 2006. You may also want to reconsider the beautiful collection of network diagrams and their natural use in Moreno: Who shall survive? Beacon House, 1953 Best regards, B. -- Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes Department of Computer & | +49 7531 88 4433 (phone) Information Science, Box D 67 | +49 7531 88 3577 (fax) University of Konstanz | [log in to unmask] 78457 Konstanz, Germany | http://www.inf.uni-konstanz.de/~brandes/ _____________________________________________________________________ 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.