Dynamic (Social) Networks
Social network theory models organizational communication and work
patterns. The core idea is that information and influence flow between
people or groups (nodes) via relationships such as reporting structures
or conversational and e-mail interactions (arcs). Analyzing such network
models highlights problems such as isolated or over-burdened employees or
groups. Resolving these issues can drive major improvements in productivity,
collaboration, and innovation. Network theory has also been applied successfully
to diverse phenomena such as the Internet, academic publishing, terrorist groups,
and the spread of infectious diseases.
Numerous software tools exist for depicting networks graphically and
summarizing their structures via statistical metrics. However, most of these
tools are static and homogeneous: they tend to capture network states at specific
points in time, where nodes and arcs are limited to single types of things,
such as individuals vs. organizations vs. locations or communication
vs. funding links.