The Social Networks Analysis (SNA) is not a new technique; sociologists have been using it for a long time to study human relationships (sociometry), find communities, and to simulate how information or a disease is spread in a population.
With the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on, the acquisition of large amounts of social network data has become easier. We can use SNA to get an insight about customer behavior or unknown communities. It is important to say that this is not a trivial task and we will face problems with sparse data and a lot of noise (meaningless data). We need to understand, how to distinguish between false correlation and causation. A good start is by knowing our graph through visualization and statistical analysis.
The social networking sites bring us the opportunities to ask questions that otherwise are too hard to approach, because polling enough people is time-consuming and expensive.
In this chapter...