Design of a Data Model for Social Networks Applications

Design of a Data Model for Social Networks Applications

Susanta Mitra (International Institute of Information Technology, Kolkata, India), Aditya Bagchi (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India) and A. K. Bandyopadhyay (Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-172-8.ch019
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A social network defines the structure of a social community like an organization or institution, covering its members and their inter-relationships. Social relationships among the members of a community can be of different types like friendship, kinship, professional, academic etc. Traditionally, a social network is represented by a directed graph. Analysis of graph structure representing a social network is done by the sociologists to study a community. Hardly any effort has been made to design a data model to store and retrieve a social network related data. In this paper, an object-relational graph data model has been proposed for modeling a social network. The objective is to illustrate the power of this generic model to represent the common structural and node-based properties of different social network applications. A novel multi-paradigm architecture has been proposed to efficiently manage the system. New structural operators have been defined in the paper and the application of these operators has been illustrated through query examples. The completeness and the minimality of the operators have also been shown.
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A social network is a social structure between actors (individuals, organization or other social entities) and indicates the ways in which they are connected through various social relationships like friendships, kinships, professional, academic etc. Usually, a social network may represent a network of acquaintance between people, a club and its members, a city or village communities, a research group communicating over Internet or a group of people communicating with each other through e-mail messages (Cai, 2006; Long & Siau, 2007). Recently, World-Wide-Web or just Web, as it is popularly known, has played a major role in the formation of communities (Cyber-communities or Web communities) where the members or people from different parts of the globe can join the community for common interest. For example, members of an IEEE society communicating with each other through e-mail may form a web-community. Social network applications include the traditional social network applications as studied by the social scientists (Hanneman, 2001; Holland & Leinhardt, 1979; Leinhardt, 1977), network of acquaintances or referral system as proposed in (Yu & Singh, 2003; Kuatz, 1997) and finally the Web community (Newman, 2003; Hanneman, 2001). Incidentally, in a referral system, each actor in the social community provides a set of links to its acquaintances that in turn become members of the community. In the same way, these new actors bring their acquaintances to the community again. Thus, the social network keeps on growing. This view of social network has given rise to different commercial applications like,, etc. ( For example, a commercial referral network on the web may offer employment services, where actors provide information like qualification, experience etc. Similarly, another referral network may offer matrimonial services, where actors provide information like, age, marital-status, sex, monthly earning etc.

Social networks can have a few or many actors, and one or more kinds of relations between pairs of actors. For example, two houses of a village community may be connected to each other because of a family relationship yielding a kinship relation or they may communicate for lending or borrowing money generating an economic relationship. Two actors of a social network may even be connected by more than one relation. For example, an actor i may refer to another actor j, since they belong to the same professional area (e.g. computer scientist), and at the same time they may also be connected by another relation like the same hobby (e.g. playing baseball).

To build a useful understanding of a social network, a complete and rigorous description of a pattern of social relationships is a necessary starting point for analysis. This pattern of relationships between the actors can be better understood through mathematical or formal representation like graphs. Therefore, a social network is represented as a directed graph or digraph. In this graph, each member of a social community (people or other entities embedded in a social context) is considered as a node and communication (collaboration, interaction or influence) from one member of the community to another member is represented by a directed edge. In order to understand the social properties and behavior of a community, social scientists analyze the corresponding digraph. The number of nodes in social network applications can be very few representing a small circle of friends or very large representing a Web community. This graphical representation is useful for the study and analysis of a social network. In addition, each social network will also have some node related information depending on the application area or the type of social community the network is representing. For example, in a village community, each node may represent a household in the village with data relevant to such houses.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Hong Zhang, Rajiv Kishore, Ram Ramesh
A conceptual modeling grammar should be based on the theory of ontology and possess clear ontological semantics to represent problem domain... Sample PDF
Semantics of the MibML Conceptual Modeling Grammar: An Ontological Analysis Using the Bunge-Wand-Weber Framework
Chapter 2
Henry M. Kim, Arijit Sengupta, Mark S. Fox, Mehmet Dalkilic
This paper introduces a measurement ontology for applications to semantic Web applications, specifically for emerging domains such as microarray... Sample PDF
A Measurement Ontology Generalizable for Emerging Domain Applications on the Semantic Web
Chapter 3
Zhiyuan Chen
Environmental research and knowledge discovery both require extensive use of data stored in various sources and created in different ways for... Sample PDF
Semantic Integration and Knowledge Discovery for Environmental Research
Chapter 4
Vijayan Sugumaran, Gerald DeHondt
Software reuse has been discussed in the literature for the past three decades and is widely seen as one of the major areas for improving... Sample PDF
Towards Code Reuse and Refactoring as a Practice within Extreme Programming
Chapter 5
Miguel I. Aguiree-Urreta, George M. Marakas
Requirements elicitation has been recognized as a critical stage in system development projects, yet current models prescribing particular... Sample PDF
Requirements Elicitation Technique Selection: A Theory-Based Contingency Model
Chapter 6
VenuGopal Balijepally, Sridhar Nerur, RadhaKanta Mahapatra
Software development in organizations is evolving and increasingly taking a socio-technical hue. While empirical research guided by common sense... Sample PDF
IT Value of Software Development: A Multi-Theoretic Perspective
Chapter 7
Amel Mammar
UB2SQL is a tool for designing and developing database applications using UML and B formal method. The approach supported by UB2SQL consists of two... Sample PDF
UB2SQL: A Tool for Building Database Applications Using UML and B Formal Method
Chapter 8
Juliette Gutierrez
Crime reports are used to find criminals, prevent further violations, identify problems causing crimes and allocate government resources.... Sample PDF
Using Decision Trees to Predict Crime Reporting
Chapter 9
Karen Corral, David Schuff, Robert D. St. Louis, Ozgur Turetken
Inefficient and ineffective search is widely recognized as a problem for businesses. The shortcomings of keyword searches have been elaborated upon... Sample PDF
A Model for Estimating the Savings from Dimensional vs. Keyword Search
Chapter 10
Praveen Madiraju, Rajshekhar Sunderraman, Shamkant B. Navathe, Haibin Wang
Global semantic integrity constraints ensure the integrity and consistency of data spanning distributed databases. In this chapter, we discuss a... Sample PDF
Integrity Constraint Checking for Multiple XML Databases
Chapter 11
Russel Pears
Data Warehouses are widely used for supporting decision making. On Line Analytical Processing or OLAP is the main vehicle for querying data... Sample PDF
Accelerating Multi Dimensional Queries in Data Warehouses
Chapter 12
Vikas Agrawal, P. S. Sundararaghavan, Mesbah U. Ahmed, Udayan Nandkeolyar
Data warehouse has become an integral part in developing a DSS in any organization. One of the key architectural issues concerning the efficient... Sample PDF
View Materialization in a Data Cube: Optimization Models and Heuristics
Chapter 13
Athman Bouguettaya, Zaki Malik, Xumin Liu, Abdelmounaam Rezgui, Lori Korff
The ubiquity of the World Wide Web facilitates the deployment of highly distributed applications. The emergence of Web databases and applications... Sample PDF
WebFINDIT: Providing Data and Service-Centric Access through a Scalable Middleware
Chapter 14
James E. Wyse
Location-based mobile commerce (LBMC) incorporates location-aware technologies, wire-free connectivity, and server-based repositories of business... Sample PDF
Retrieval Optimization for Server-Based Repositories in Location-Based Mobile Commerce
Chapter 15
Shing-Han Li, Shi-Ming Huang, David C. Yen, Cheng-Chun Chang
The lifecycle of information system (IS) became relatively shorter compared with earlier days as a result of information technology (IT) revolution... Sample PDF
Migrating Legacy Systems to Web Services Architecture
Chapter 16
Myeong Ho Lee
The trend toward convergence, initiated by advances in ICT, entails the creation of new value chain networks, made up by partnerships between actors... Sample PDF
A Socio-Technical Interpretation of IT Convergence Services: Applying a Perspective from Actor Network Theory and Complex Adaptive Systems
Chapter 17
T. Ariyachandra, L. Dong
Past evidence suggests that organizational transformation from IT implementations is rare. Data warehousing promises to be one advanced information... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Transformation from IT Implementations: A Look at Structuration Theory
Chapter 18
Yuan Long, Keng Siau
Drawing on social network theories and previous studies, this research examines the dynamics of social network structures in Open Source Software... Sample PDF
Social Networks Structures in Open Source Software Development Teams
Chapter 19
Susanta Mitra, Aditya Bagchi, A. K. Bandyopadhyay
A social network defines the structure of a social community like an organization or institution, covering its members and their... Sample PDF
Design of a Data Model for Social Networks Applications
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