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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

http://www.people.ku.edu/~mvitevit
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