HCI International 2011

9-14 July 2011, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida, USA

T17: Introduction to Social Network Analysis

Full Day Tutorial

Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris (short bio)
Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus

Dr. Chee Siang Ang (short bio)
School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, UK


Social Network Analysis (SNA) focuses on patterns of relations between and among people, organizations, states, etc. It seeks to describe networks of relations as fully as possible, tease out the prominent patterns in such networks, trace the flow of information through them, and discover what effects these relations and networks have on people and organizations.

Although SNA could be extensively utilized to analyze human-human interactions in online communities (discussion boards, newsgroups, virtual organizations) unfortunately it is very rarely used.

This Tutorial provides an overview of this analytic technique and demonstrates how it can be used in HCI (especially computer mediated communication (CMC)) research and practise. This topic becomes even more important these days with the increasing popularity of social networking websites and other social software (e.g. youtube, myspace, MMORPGs, virtual worlds like second life etc.) and the research interest in studying them.
Upon completion of this tutorial, you should:

  • Be able to understand the basics of social network analysis, its terminology and background (part 1)
  • Be able to transform communication data to network data (part 1)
  • Know practically how social network analysis (SNA) can be applied to HCI (especially CMC) analysis (part 2)
  • Get familiar with the use of standard SNA tools and software (part 2)
  • Be able to derive practical and useful information through SNA analysis that would help design an innovative and successful online community. (part 2)

Content and Benefits:

The contents for the tutorial is divided into two parts, each of which is structured in small groups to maximize the interaction among participants

  • Part 1: Introduction to Social Network Analysis Benefits: you will be exposed to the introduction of SNA, get familiar with the terminology and definitions of SNA.
  • Part 2: Practical uses of social network analysis (SNA) Benefits: Through a series of interactive exercises, a number of case studies will be demonstrated and discussed. Case studies will draw from diverse areas (e.g. use of SNA to study age differences in CMC, use of SNA in universal design and research). Ways of using SNA to study new forms of CMC such as MMORPGs, Wikis, blogs etc. will also be discussed.

Target Audience:

We welcome practitioners and academics interested in computer mediated communication, universal design, especially researchers and practitioners who are interested in domains that social network analysis can be applied.

Brief Biographical sketch(es):

Panayiotis Zaphiris is an Associate Professor and head of department at the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT). Before joining CUT he was a reader at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, School of Informatics of City University London where he still holds a senior research fellow post. His research interests lie in HCI with an emphasis on inclusive design and social aspects of computing. He has a strong interested in internet related research (web usability, mathematical modelling of browsing behaviour in hierarchical online information systems, online communities, e-learning, web based digital libraries and social network analysis of online human-to-human interactions). Panayiotis Zaphiris has published over 120 publications in prominent journals (e.g. Zaphiris, P., Sarwar, R. (2006) Trends, Similarities and Differences in the Usage of Teen and Senior Public Online Newsgroups. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 13(3), 2006, 403-422. ACM Press.) and has presented his work in numerous conferences. He is the editor of a number of books.
Chee Siang Ang is a Lecturer in Multimedia and Digital Systems in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent at Canterbury. His research interests include the psychology and sociology of computer games including new forms of CMC communication such as MMORPG. His research, deals mainly with the social aspect of gaming.
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