Spectral analysis of social networks to identify periodicity
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Two key problems in the study of longitudinal networks are determining when to chunk continuoustime data into discrete time periods for network analysis and identifying periodicity in the data. In addition, statistical process control applied to longitudinal social network measures can be biased by the effects of relational dependence and periodicity in the data. Thus, the detection of change is often obscured by random noise. Fourier analysis is used to determine statistically significant periodic frequencies in longitudinal network data. Two approaches are then offered: using significant periods as a basis to chunk data for longitudinal network analysis or using the significant periods to filter the longitudinal data. E-mail communication collected at the United States Military Academy is examined.
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