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Dear SocNet-ers:

I'm somewhat familiar with the work and measures developed by Burt on structural holes, and the work of Borgatti on "keyplayers." What I have not been able to find are references/software relevant to a related idea (perhaps because I'm not looking in the right area or with the right terms). Here is the similar, yet different issue I'm interested in:

Imagine a network of faculty at a university, with edges connecting faculty with similar research interests. Instead of adding a link between two nodes, say A and B, that already exist (what I understand as the structural holes issue), I'm interested in being able to identify portions of the network that would be "strengthened" by or otherwise benefit from the addition of a *new* node that connects to two existing nodes in the network. This might be equivalent to hiring a new faculty member (X) to build collaborative relations between two existing nodes (A and B) rather than directly connecting A and B. I'm interesting in some sort of metric/measure to indicate that hiring X to "connect" A and B would yield more "benefits" (e.g., more resilient network, average path length decreases, etc.) than hiring Y who would "connect" A and F, for example. 

Pointers to literature on this issue and software that can identify such regions of a network would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any assistance anyone can offer.
Mike Vitevitch


Michael S. Vitevitch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department of Psychology
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045
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voice: 785-864-9312
FAX: 785-864-5696
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Spoken Language Laboratory
Fraser Hall Room 011

Senior Associate Director
University Honors Program
Nunemaker Center 
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