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Concept# Dynamic network analysis

Summary

Dynamic network analysis (DNA) is an emergent scientific field that brings together traditional social network analysis (SNA), link analysis (LA), social simulation and multi-agent systems (MAS) within network science and network theory. Dynamic networks are a function of time (modeled as a subset of the real numbers) to a set of graphs; for each time point there is a graph. This is akin to the definition of dynamical systems, in which the function is from time to an ambient space, where instead of ambient space time is translated to relationships between pairs of vertices.
There are two aspects of this field. The first is the statistical analysis of DNA data. The second is the utilization of simulation to address issues of network dynamics. DNA networks vary from traditional social networks in that they are larger, dynamic, multi-mode, multi-plex networks, and may contain varying levels of uncertainty. The main difference of DNA to SNA is that DNA takes interactions of social features conditioning structure and behavior of networks into account. DNA is tied to temporal analysis but temporal analysis is not necessarily tied to DNA, as changes in networks sometimes result from external factors which are independent of social features found in networks. One of the most notable and earliest of cases in the use of DNA is in Sampson's monastery study, where he took snapshots of the same network from different intervals and observed and analyzed the evolution of the network.
DNA statistical tools are generally optimized for large-scale networks and admit the analysis of multiple networks simultaneously in which, there are multiple types of nodes (multi-node) and multiple types of links (multi-plex). Multi-node multi-plex networks are generally referred to as
meta-networks or high-dimensional networks. In contrast, SNA statistical tools focus on single or at most two mode data and facilitate the analysis of only one type of link at a time.
DNA statistical tools tend to provide more measures to the user, because they have measures that use data drawn from multiple networks simultaneously.

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