Networks with homophily, an interesting visualization

by Sergiy Nesterko on June 8th, 2010

The research I am currently involved in with my advisor Joe Blitzstein concerns networks with homophily. As per Wiki:

Homophily (i.e., love of the same) is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others. The presence of homophily has been discovered in a vast array of network studies.

To understand this concept better, I decided to make a plot of a network with homophily on some quantity on top of the histogram of the quantity. It is shown on Figure 1.

Figure 1: A network with homophily on a quantity plotted over the histogram of the quantity. The transparent blue balls represent vertices, and blue lines represent links. Note that vertices are much more densely interconnected towards the centre of the distribution, and also vertices with similar values of the quantity tend to connect more often than those with very different values.

In fact, the intuition suggested by Figure 1 is important for working on estimation problems when sampling from networks with homophily, as I have described in an earlier post.

To create the image, I got into Processing, a Java-based language developed in MIT Medialab. Even though somewhat more tedious than, say, ggplot for R, Processing is more flexible and allows for animation, interactive visualization and other interesting things. I think I will be using it more.

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2 Responses to “Networks with homophily, an interesting visualization”

  1. Oleksandr, N. says:

    Visualization looks great.

  2. […] in Processing, a language for visualization I have started looking at recently. Please check this post for more details. I like this language because, though highly verbose, it still makes it feasible […]

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