bleg: favorite network visualization software?

I am beginning an analysis that involves network visualizations. I’m in good shape with respect to the statistical analysis of the networks, but am in less good shape with respect to visualization. If it matters, this is a network of texts as nodes and the ties are co-occurrences of topics and themes. I’d like to draw graphs that highlight cliques in the data.

The ideal software will be open-source, run under linux, and produce pretty pictures, but I’m willing to entertain options that don’t meet all these criteria.


Author: andrewperrin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

7 thoughts on “bleg: favorite network visualization software?”

  1. I vote for Gephi as the easiest to get up and running. Open source, under active development and available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mostly point and click, so it isn’t great for running thousands of models, but it can compute some network statistics and produces some some pretty looking graphs, like this analysis of #kony2012.


  2. Andy – I hear people talk a lot about Pajek, but I haven’t done much network visualization. Sorry!

    Out of curiosity, are you generating the themes/topics by hand or using natural language processing? I’ve been playing around with (automated) topic modeling for the past few weeks and am looking at doing some historical work with it (and eventually network diagrams might play a role through use of so-called “Correlated Topic Models”).


  3. I’m a big fan of creating things like this whole-cloth from a sql-compliant database with fields for codes, but mostly that is because I don’t trust high-dollar QDA software like ATLAS or NVIVO. Once the data is there, visualization is easy(ier).

    It sort of depends how many dimensions are important, though. I assume you’re coming up with these topics and themes from expert generated coding rather than using machine learning?


  4. I use igraph myself. i do it through R but you can also do it through Python. there are a few scripts for this on my blog, just click “R” in the tag cloud.

    note that Pajek is Windows but you can run it through WINE


  5. I’ll admit I’m out of my league here. This may not fit the request exactly, but it was a fun way for me to see my twitter connections:

    It is free and, I think, pretty easy to play around with. If you’re into that sort of thing.


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