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Hi Thomas,


I carried out some research recently that is
relevant to your post. In my study I was interested in using regression and
centrality measures along with a measure of knowledge to better understanding medicinal
plant remedy knowledge transmission in a rural community in Mexico. The method
is detailed in my paper titled “Use of network centrality measures to explain
individual levels of herbal remedy cultural competence among the Yucatec Maya
in Tabi, Mexico” coming out very soon in Field
Methods. See the abstract below for more information.  


My findings were that in-degree correlated with the competence scores (a
measure of knowledge) with an r of 0.28, p<.01. When I ran the regression
and included attribute variables, such as age and gender, along with centrality
measures, such as in-degree and betweenness, the model explained 26% of the
variation in knowledge scores. Interestingly, age trumped all other variables,
including the network variables in its explanatory power. After doing some
further analysis to explain this finding I determined that age and in degree
are positively associated (r = .48, p < .01), which suggests that, as
generally expected, the trend in Tabi is that older people are both the most
knowledgeable and the most centrally located in the network.    

 

Abstract for Field Methods paper

Common herbal remedy knowledge varies
and is transmitted among individuals who are connected through a social network.
Thus, social relationships have the potential to account for some of the
variation in knowledge. Cultural consensus analysis (CCA) and social network
analysis (SNA) were used together to study the association between
intracultural variation in botanical remedy knowledge and social relationships
in Tabi, Yucatan, Mexico. CCA, a theory of culture as agreement, was used to
assess the competence of individuals in a domain of herbal remedies by
measuring individual competence scores within that domain. There was a weak but
positive association between these competence scores and network centrality scores.
This association disappeared when age was included in the model. People in
Tabi, who have higher competence in herbal remedies tend to be older and more
centrally located in the herbal remedy inquiry network. The larger implication
of the application of CCA and SNA for understanding the acquisition and
transmission of cultural knowledge is also explored.  

 

For more information about the study see chapter 5
of my dissertation available at: http://etd.fcla.edu/UF/UFE0041175/hopkins_a.pdf



Kind regards,

Allison Hopkins, PhD

 

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:49:22 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] Network Regression of centrality measures vs. actual transmission of information
To: [log in to unmask]

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    Thomas,

    

    We have a paper coming out in the American Journal of Sociology
    that addresses these types of issues. There we test the fundamental
    assumptions of Granovetter's 'The Strength of Weak Ties' and Burt's
    'Structural Holes' by combining analysis of email structure with
    analysis of email content. We ask: Which structural positions
    actually deliver the most novel information to ego? 

    

    We find that
    that a trade-off between network
      diversity and
      communications bandwidth regulates access to novel information and
      that information advantages to brokerage depend on (a)
    whether the information overlap among alters is small enough to
    justify bridging structural holes, (b) whether the size of the topic
    space known to alters is large enough to consistently provide
    novelty, and (c) whether the knowledge stock of alters refreshes
    enough over time to justify updating what was previously known.
    These results suggest that information benefits to brokerage depend
    on the information environments in which brokers find themselves.

    

    You can find a working paper version of the forthcoming article
    here:

    

    Aral, S. & Van Alstyne, M. “Networks, Information and Brokerage:
    The Diversity-Bandwidth

    Tradeoff.” American Journal of Sociology. In Press. Available at
    SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=958158

    

    Best

    

    Sinan

    

    Sinan Aral
Assistant Professor, NYU Stern School of Business.
Research Affiliate, MIT Sloan School of Management.
Personal Webpage: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~saral
SSRN Page: http://ssrn.com/author=110270
WIN Workshop: http://www.winworkshop.net
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sinanaral
    

    On 4/12/2011 8:37 AM, Thomas Plotkowiak wrote:
    ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
      Dear Members of the SocNet List, 

      

      I am looking for any papers that have computed correlations or
        regressions of popular centrality network measures
      like closeness, degree, eigenvector or betweeness and the actual
        transmission of information. 

      

      So for example I might have 

      

      a) a network of friendships of peole and additionally 

      b) I might have a network that has an arc if a person has
      forwarded information from a person. 

      

      If I compute a network regression of the actors degree in the
      friendship network and the number of how often his information was
      forwarded I can see how useful the centrality measures actually
      are in predicting future information diffusion for an actor.

      

      I have tried that a couple of times on online friendship networks
      and the regression usually ends up having an explanation from
      common centrality measures are around 30%. I am wondering if there
      are similar attempts out there in order to compare my values and
      my approach?

      

      I think this question is highly relevant because it actually asks
      if the centrality measures we use every day to highlight certain
      actors in information diffusion are really usefull.

      

      P.S.

      I can also think of computing different measures for brokers
      between two communities and the actual transmission or strong ties
      and their influence on the actual transmission. 

      

      Best Regards

      Thomas Plotkowiak

      

        -- 

        Thomas Plotkowiak

        Research Assistant

        MCM Institute

        St. Gallen, Switzerland

        Tel +41 71 224 27 47
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