A foundation for developing a methodology for social network sampling

D W Franks, Richard James, J Noble, G D Ruxton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers are increasingly turning to network theory to understand the social nature of animal populations. We present a computational framework that is the first step in a series of works that will allow us to develop a quantitative methodology of social network sampling to aid ecologists in their social network data collection. To develop our methodology, we need to be able to generate networks from which to sample. Ideally, we need to perform a systematic study of sampling protocols on different known network structures, as network structure might affect the robustness of any particular sampling methodology. Thus, we present a computational tool for generating network structures that have user-defined distributions for network properties and for key measures of interest to ecologists. The user defines the values of these measures and the tool will generate appropriate network randomizations with those properties. This tool will be used as a framework for developing a sampling methodology, although we do not present a full methodology here. We describe the method used by the tool, demonstrate its effectiveness, and discuss how the tool can now be utilized. We provide a proof-of-concept example (using the assortativity measure) of how such networks can be used, along with a simulated egocentric sampling regime, to test the level of equivalence of the sampled network to the actual network.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1079-1088
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Volume63
Issue number7
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2009

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social networks
social network
methodology
sampling
ecologists
researchers
animals
testing

Keywords

  • Computational tool
  • Social network sampling
  • Network theory

Cite this

A foundation for developing a methodology for social network sampling. / Franks, D W; James, Richard; Noble, J; Ruxton, G D.

In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol. 63, No. 7, 2009, p. 1079-1088.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Franks, D W ; James, Richard ; Noble, J ; Ruxton, G D. / A foundation for developing a methodology for social network sampling. In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2009 ; Vol. 63, No. 7. pp. 1079-1088.
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