Meerkat, A Social Network Analysis Tool
Meerkat is a social network analysis application under development by Dr. Osmar Zaiane and his lab. It offers facilities for automated community mining, various layout algorithms for helpful visualizations, and timeframe event analysis for dynamic networks that have been observed at multiple points in time.
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Note: Meerkat Lite has been developed to offer useful functionality, including many features not common to other SNA software. We have further plans for a later Full release, which will include additional features. Meerkat Lite may gain additional features as well, and will be updated with bug fixes as necessary. Please see our change log for details.
Social networks are ubiquitous. Internet social networking is what most people know about but the analysis of social networks is important in many domains. Biologists study protein interactions forming a network. Criminologists and law enforcement agencies analyze crime networks. Epidemiologists study relationships between individuals. Zoologists examine animal behaviours materialized in networks. Telecommunication researchers investigate call networks. When these networks are small, the manual analysis is tractable but with large networks it becomes impossible. Social network analysis attempts to answer questions such as: which elements are the most influential? Which individuals are leaders and which ones are followers. Are there groups and how are they formed? Which elements within a group are important? What are the outliers? Which relationships are important?
Meerkat is a tool developed by a team lead by Osmar Zaïane at the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning (AICML) to help practitioners better comprehend and analyze vast amount of data in the form of social networks. Given a set of objects and their interaction with each other, Meerkat uses sophisticated algorithms, developed at the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning, to automatically identify groups of objects that are meaningfully connected, that we call communities. Meerkat carefully lays the network out on the screen to minimize occlusion and highlights communities. It also provides information about the most influential/central nodes within each community.
To hear important news about Meerkat (release dates, major updates, etc.), please join our mailing list, at http://www.mailman.srv.ualberta.ca/mailman/listinfo/meerkat.
- network visualization with multiple layouts
- interactive network editing
- support for dynamic networks (multiple timeframes)
- network filtering
- computes different measures of centrality (network metrics and statistics)
- automatically detects communities (community mining)
- shows community dynamics in time (community event analysis and visualization)