Business-oriented Analysis of a Social Network of University Students Informative value of individual and relational data compared through group detection

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Labatut V., Balasque J.

International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM), Odense, Denmark, 9 - 11 August 2010, pp.25-32 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/asonam.2010.15
  • City: Odense
  • Country: Denmark
  • Page Numbers: pp.25-32


Despites the great interest caused by social networks in Business Science, their analysis is rarely performed both in a global and systematic way in this field: most authors focus on parts of the studied network, or on a few nodes considered individually. This could be explained by the fact that practical extraction of social networks is a difficult and costly task, since the specific relational data it requires are often difficult to access and thereby expensive. One may ask if equivalent information could be extracted from less expensive individual data, i.e. data concerning single individuals instead of several ones. In this work, we try to tackle this problem through group detection. We gather both types of data from a population of students, and estimate groups separately using individual and relational data, leading to sets of clusters and communities, respectively. We found out there is no strong overlapping between them, meaning both types of data do not convey the same information in this specific context, and can therefore be considered as complementary. However, a link, even if weak, exists and appears when we identify the most discriminant attributes relatively to the communities. Implications in Business Science include community prediction using individual data.