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Mathematics LibreTexts

3.4: Summary


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A graph (sometimes called a sociogram) is composed of nodes (or actors or points) connected by edges (or relations or ties). A graph may represent a single type of relations among the actors (simplex), or more than one kind of relation (multiplex). Each tie or relation may be directed (i.e. originates with a source actor and reaches a target actor), or it may be a tie that represents co-occurrence, co-presence, or a bonded-tie between the pair of actors. Directed ties are represented with arrows, bonded-tie relations are represented with line segments. Directed ties may be reciprocated (A chooses B and B chooses A); such ties can be represented with a double-headed arrow. The strength of ties among actors in a graph may be nominal or binary (represents presence or absence of a tie); signed (represents a negative tie, a positive tie, or no tie); ordinal (represents whether the tie is the strongest, next strongest, etc.); or valued (measured on an interval or ratio level). In speaking the position of one actor or node in a graph to other actors or nodes in a graph, we may refer to the focal actor as "ego" and the other actors as "alters."