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The concept of "broker" is what you are looking for. See the index in my new book "Understanding Social Networks" for findings and literature on brokers.
Classically, the first extended discussion of brokers is in Boissevain, Jeremy. 1974. Friends of friends: Networks, manipulators and coalitions. London: Basil Blackwell. No metrics, but lots of good ideas.
On 1/13/2012 1:31 PM, Michael Vitevitch wrote:[log in to unmask]" type="cite">***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
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
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