dimitris kalamaras

math, social network analysis, web dev, free software…

Tag: Social Networks

SocNetV 0.70 – the web crawler release :)

It’s been only one month since the release of 0.60, but Social Network Visualizer version 0.70 is here! This summertime release justifies its existence with two new features, a built-in web crawler and multiple node selection.

The web crawler, based on some older tutorial code I had, is pretty simple software (don’t expect Google power here!), which automatically creates mathematical graphs starting with a given URL, called the seed. As the algorithm crawls that seed webpage, it identifies all the links inside the page and adds them to a list of URLs (called frontier). Then, all the URLs from the frontier are recursively visited. In this process, a network of pages (nodes) and links (edges) is being developed allowing the researcher to study and visualize network properties, such as centralities, etc.

At the moment, the web crawler code is quite immature (i.e. doesn’t recognize framesets) but I hope it will evolve in the future. To test it, go to menu Network > Web Crawler (keyboard junkies, press Shift+C). A dialog will appear – enter the initial web address (seed), the maximum recursion level (how many URLs from the frontier will be visited) and the maximum running time and press OK. Here’s a screenshot of SocNetV crawling http://socnetv.org with betweenness centrality radial layout:

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SocNetV version 0.60 says hi!

Happy to report that we released version 0.60 of Social Networks Visualizer (SocNetV) on May 27, 2009. This is a major release bringing:

  • native support for GraphML (this becomes out default load/save format for networks),
  • edge filtering by their weights,
  • new node shapes,
  • lots of bugfixes
  • fresh iconset
  • and a bit of geek cream on top: custom background images.

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SocNetV gets a review (not bad one :))

I started this SocNetV thing as a learning exercise: to deepen my knowledge of Qt/C++, to familiarize myself with tools like svn, mercurial, etc, and, above all, to build something that I needed back then in my Linux box (was it Mandriva 2005?): a simple application to help me draw social graphs and compute some statistics (centralities) about them. After three years of development, Social Networks Visualiser is nowhere near complete, but it is quite usable and it’s getting better (I think).

Today, a friend called me to comment on the “review”… I was, “what review?”…Well, it seems that somehow, Mihai Mircea, the Softpedia Linux Editor was convinced that SocNetV deserves a review on Softpedia. So, there it is: we got 3 stars out of 5. Not bad — actually it was more positive than I would expect. Anyway, thanks for the review and the thoughtful comments, Mihai.

SocNetV 0.46 is here!

I just uploaded the new SocNetV version to the Sourceforge File Release System (FRS). Nothing special this time. SocNetV 0.46 is just a bug fix release – Pajek format loading is improved and zooming widgets work as they should (at last!).

The only new features is that nodes can be automatically resized according to their outDegrees. This is no novelty, but helps a lot. Imagine you have a network of 100 nodes where you have applied a betweeness centrality layout. Nodes which happen to be on many shortest paths between other pairs of nodes will be positioned towards the center of the screen, and can be thought of as ‘mediators’ of information. This is nice, but for instance do they also happen to have many links to other nodes? In other words, do they know a lot of actors as well? With one click, SocNetV can give now an answer, depicting nodes with different sizes according to their outLinks: nodes with more links are bigger than those with less links. Wow 😛

New day – new SocNetV release…

Four months after 0.44, a new release of Social Networks Visualiser is ready. Version 0.45 fixes a thousand (short of…) bugs, and adds new features, such as initial support for GraphML, four new node shapes and new widgets for network rotation and zooming. My plan is to have GraphML as the default format. At the moment, only loading is supported, though 🙁

Version 0.45 brings a more polished GUI with new icons and a new layout for the left dock.

SocNetV 0.45 screenshot

Also, I finally managed to update the documentation and make it look nice. You can take yourself a look at

The same documentation is available both online and locally, when running SocNetV. HtmlViewer class renders the manual with the help of QtWebKit, so the latter is a new dependancy. In openSUSE you need libQtWebKit-devel whereas in Debian the package is libqt4-webkit.

Finally, Serafeim Zanikolas made a package of SocNetV 0.44 for Debian Experimental and made a couple of bug reports/fixes. Most of them have been fixed in version 0.45.

I plan to stick with version 0.45 for a while, waiting for Qt 4.5. If the developers are right (they talk about speed-ups of up to 40 times faster), QGraphicsView will be much impoved in Qt 4.5.
SocNetV needs that.

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