Social network packages poll
| Gabriel |
Unfortunately (for now) Stata has basically no social network capabilities (though for some early efforts see Rense Corten’s netplot program and .net import filter, as well as my own .net export filter). So this necessitates leaving the warm cocoon of Stata and learning something else and a grad student recently asked me by email what social network package I recommend. Given that there’s a (steep) learning curve to all these alternatives, I think it’s reasonable to pick just one, at least to start with.
Personally, I use igraph running through R because it’s free, it’s easy to pipe to it, it can do alpha centrality, the documentation includes examples and tutorials rather than just a dictionary of functions and arguments, and it has a relatively easy syntax for importing Pajek data and generating graphs. You can see my attempts to muddle through this here. However I’m not going to claim that this is the best and it’s entirely possible I would have been better off grappling with something else (I especially have these “grass is always greener” thoughts about running igraph through Python). My only strong opinion is that whatever you use, it should be scriptable even if it comes at the cost of a higher initial learning curve.
Anyway, what do you all prefer and why? I’m allowing repeated voting for the benefit of people who use several. I’m interested in what people like in both a “wisdom of the crowd” sense and a network externalities sense.