Visualizing social network concepts

Bin Zhu, Stephanie Watts, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Social network concepts are invaluable for understanding the social network phenomena, but they are difficult to comprehend without computerized visualization. However, most existing network visualization techniques provide limited support for the comprehension of network concepts. This research proposes an approach called concept visualization to facilitate the understanding of social network concepts. The paper describes an implementation of the approach. Results from a controlled laboratory experiment indicate that, compared with the benchmark system, the NetVizer system facilitated better understanding of the concepts of betweenness centrality, gatekeepers of subgroups, and structural similarity. It also supported a faster comprehension of subgroup identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Information analysis
  • Information categorization
  • Network visualization
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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