Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Networks and Attributes

August 27, 2011

In class yesterday, Ajay argued that the distinction between attributes and relations — so often made in intro-to-networks contexts — is not so clear. An attribute is a node-level variable, so centrality and any other node-level network concept is just another attribute. This is surely true, but it also a matter of semantics. Dan B prefers to use “attribute” in a more restricted way. An attribute is a characteristic of an actor themselves and not of their location in their social environment, such as their gender or attitude toward texting. In contrast, a node-level network property is a characteristic of a node’s position in the network, and can change if a tie is added or lost anywhere in the network. So gender and attitude are attributes while betweenness centrality is a node-level property. Joe said this distinction is problematic because network processes can cause attributes. For example, a person’s attitude is an attribute but it may have been formed as a result of contact with others with that attitude. But in my view the fact that attributes and network properties can cause each other is not relevant to the conceptual distinction between them; heat may cause fire but they are not the same thing.

The distinction here reminds me of the distinction between social networks and networks in general, which also came up in class. In my view, it is useful to restrict the term social network to just those cases where the nodes are entities, i.e., have agency. I can define a network in which the nodes are words and the ties indicate whether a given pair of words co-occurs in the same sentence in a given text. But I’d rather not call that a social network, and I certainly don’t want to apply social theory to it.

Harvard professor fakes data?

August 30, 2010

Harvard professor Marc Hauser was found guilty of “scientific misconduct”. Harvard doesn’t say exactly what that entails, but it is clear is that he and his assistants had the task of coding videotaped monkey behavior. This is a task which should always be given to someone who does not know what the study’s hypotheses are. It should also be noted that the scientific method is designed to protect a researcher from his/her unconscious biases. It does nothing to prevent people from simply faking it.

BTW, the guy’s field of study is morality.

CARMA Summer Short Course Program

March 17, 2010

CARMA Summer Short Course Program at Virginia Commonwealth University

This program (May 17 – May 22, 2010), with two sessions, will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. The topics of eight short courses in this program are listed below:

Session I

May 17 – 19, 2010

“Introduction to Structural Equation Methods”

Dr. Larry Williams

Wayne State University

Session II

May 20 – 22, 2010

“Advanced Topics in Structural Equation Methods”

Dr. Bob Vandenberg, University of Georgia

“Meta-Analysis: Models & Processes”

Dr. Mike McDaniel

Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Hannah Rothstein, Baruch College

“Testing Interactions with Linear Regression”

Dr. Herman Aguinis

Indiana University

“Grounded Theory Method & Analysis”

Dr. Karen Locke, College of William & Mary

“Survey Design/Data Collection Using the Internet”

Dr. Jeff Stanton, Syracuse University

“Introduction to Linear Regression”

Dr. Jose Cortina, George Mason University

CARMA Summer Short Course Program at Wayne State University

This program (June 17 – June 19, 2010) will be hosted by Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The topics of the five short courses are listed below:

“Nonlinear Dynamic Models: Neural Network & Agent Based Analylsis”

Dr. Paul Hanges, University of Maryland

“Repeated Measures/Longitudinal Research”

Dr. Robert Ployhart, University of South Carolina

“Social Network Analysis”

Rich DeJordy, Northeastern University

“Analysis of Limited Dependent Variables”

Dr. Harry Bowen, Queens University of Charlotte

“Multi-Level Measurement”

Dr. James LeBreton, Purdue University

2-mode Conference

April 15, 2009
Conference and Workshop on 2-mode Social Network Analysis
VU University Amsterdam
30 September – 2 October 2009

The Department of Organization Science and the Department of Social Research Methodology at the VU University Amsterdam organize a conference and workshop which will be focusing exclusively on the analysis of 2-mode (affiliation) social network data (

I. CONFERENCE (October 1-2, 2009)

By bringing together researchers with a methodological and substantive background in social network analysis, this conference aims to provide a forum to share ideas and to further the development of substantive questions on those topics, which can be studied using two-mode (or more-mode) network data.

These include:

  •   interlocking directorates,
  •   voting-behavior and cosponsorship-behavior,
  •   membership of formal and informal groups,
  •   participation to specific events,
  •   contagion of diseases among cattle through the sharing of farms,
  •   the spread of diseases through sexual contact,
  •   collaborative work among scientists and shared projects,
  •   studies related to loyalty to institutions

The Keynote Speaker will be:   Steve Borgatti (University of Kentucky)


Innovative papers, on topics related to how and why network ties are formed in two-mode networks, the effects that such network structures have on the actors or events, as well as other research questions involving a two-mode network approach are welcome. In addition, papers on methodological problems related to two-mode network analysis are also encouraged.

Please note the following important deadlines:

  • Deadline for abstracts: April 29th, 2009
  • Notice of acceptance: May 25th, 2009
  • Deadline for papers: August 30th, 2009
II. WORKSHOP (September 30, 2009)

In recent years a number of specific methods and programs have been developed to analyse 2-mode network data.

Preceding the conference, three different workshops will be offered. Each workshop consists of one half-day hands-on tutorial on a specific method and program. Note that the ERGM and SIENA course are at the same time, and therefore cannot be combined.


  • Descriptive measures, techniques and visualization of two-mode data with UCINET (Steve Borgatti & Filip Agneessens)
  • Exponential random graph modelling (p*) for two-mode network data using BPNet (Peng Wang)
  • Longitudinal analysis of 2-mode network data using SIENA (Tom Snijders)

Please note that the number of places is limited and that the order will be based on date of payment received. 

For more information go to: or email

The organizers,

Filip Agneessens
Peter Groenewegen
Gerhard van de Bunt

Labrador decision model

January 18, 2009

Barry Wellman's Top 13 Network Books

January 13, 2009


  • Elizabeth Bott, Family & Social Network, 1957
  • J. Clyde Mitchell, Networks, Norms & Institutions, 1973
  • Holland & Leinhardt, Perspectives on Social Network Research,1979s
  • S. D. Berkowitz, An Introduction to Structural Analysis, 1982
  • Knoke & Kuklinski, Network Analysis, 1983, Sage, low-cost
  • Charles Tilly, Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons, 1984
  • Wellman & Berkowitz, eds., Social Structures, 1988
  • David Knoke, Political Networks, 1990
  • John Scott, Social Network Analysis, 1991
  • Ron Burt, Structural Holes, 1992
  • Manuel Castells, The Rise of Network Society, 1996, 2000
  • Wasserman & Faust, Social Network Analysis, 1992
  • Nan Lin, Social Capital (monograph & reader), 2001

This year versus last year

January 13, 2009

This year’s course will be a little bit more practical and hands-on than last year. I’m adding more of a research design component to help people construct their own studies. Also, having a TA will allow us to insert some software tutorials to get people more comfortable with the software.

Hello world!

January 1, 2009

Welcome to the MGT 780 blog.

McCain’s use of text analysis

November 2, 2008

The Times is reporting that Republicans offered an Oxford professor $10K to prove that Obama’s autobiography was ghost-written by William Ayers, America’s favorite Weatherman. Get the full story here.

Science without theory

October 28, 2008

Kevin Kelley’s post on doing science without theory is interesting. I disagree with it wholeheartedly, but is worth reading.

Full text is here.