Prototype Packages for Managing and Animating Longitudinal Network Data: dynamicnetwork and rSoNIA

Skye Bender-deMol, Martina Morris, James Moody

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Work with longitudinal network survey data and the dynamic network outputs of the statnet ERGMs has demonstrated the need for consistent frameworks and data structures for expressing, storing, and manipulating information about networks that change in time. Motivated by our requirements for exchanging data among researchers and various analysis and visualization processes, we have created an R package dynamicnetwork that builds upon previous work in the network, statnet and sna packages and provides a limited functional implementation. This paper discusses design issues and considerations, describes classes and forms of dynamic data, and works through several examples to demonstrate the utility of the package. The functionality of the rSoNIA package that uses dynamicnetwork to exchange data with the Social Network Image Animator (SoNIA) software to create animated movies of changing networks from within R is also demonstrated.

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