Choosing a Clustering: An A Posteriori Method for Social Networks


Selecting an appropriate method of clustering for network data a priori can be a frustrating and confusing process. To address the problem we build on an a posteriori approach developed by Grimmer and King (2011) that compares hundreds of possible clustering methods at once through concise and intuitive visualization. We adapt this general method to the context of social networks, extend it with additional visualization features designed to enhance interpretability, and describe its principled use, outlining steps for selecting a class of methods to compare, interpreting visual output, and making a final selection. The interactive method, implemented in R, is demonstrated using Zachary’s karate club, a canonical dataset from the network literature.

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@article{Pimentel2014ChoosingAC, title={Choosing a Clustering: An A Posteriori Method for Social Networks}, author={Samuel D. Pimentel}, journal={Journal of Social Structure}, year={2014}, volume={15} }