PhD project: Situating Network Analysis



Following the data deluge and the democratization of digital tools in the sciences, networks became a part of the scholar’s toolbox for studying various phenomena. Multiple factors made this possible: a new kind of network was invented (the “complex network”), graph theory successfully tackled hard, and data visualization became accessible to non-specialists.
Visual network analysis is a popular and multifaceted practice present in multiple fields. Visualizing networks as node-link diagrams is one of the few ways to investigate phenomena where links matter more than the linked entities themselves. There is a consensus on the relevance of visualizing networks during exploration, while its value as a piece of evidence is generally criticized. Despite being a widespread practice, visual network analysis has not stabilized as a method.
As the original author of Gephi, a popular open source software for network analysis, I had the chance to witness the adoption of networks by some researchers and gradually transition from the role of engineer to the role of researcher in digital methods. In this PhD project I aim at situating and stabilizing the emergent practice of visual network analysis.
Kort titelSituating Network Analysis
Effektiv start/slut dato15/08/201815/08/2021