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Pierre De Vries Telco Industry Network Map featured in Journal of Social Structure (JOSS) (Made with NodeXL)

The Journal of Social Structure has released its First Annual JoSS Visualization Symposium results and two of the images were generated with NodeXL.  One of the two is The Evolution of FCC Lobbying Coalitions by Pierre de Vries, Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Center University of Washington, Seattle.

Pierre has been a deep student of telecommunications policy regulation in the United States for many years.  He has generated a remarkable network map built from the details of filings to the FCC over more than a decade.  These filings are made by companies when they agree or disagree with a proposed policy.  When two companies file in support (or opposition) to the same policy they create a tie between them.  The collection of these connections creates a complex network of coalitions and factions.

“The graph is derived from meta-data associated with documents that are filed electronically whenever an organization interacts with the FCC, in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act. Whenever a letter, comment or other document is filed, the filer provides information on the parties involved, number of pages, relevant proceedings, date, etc.”

“Once the data is cleaned up, an edge list is created in Excel by running another VBA macro. A graph is created from this list with NodeXL, a social network analysis and visualization add-in for Excel 2007. NodeXL’s Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm is used to prepare a preliminary layout; nodes are then moved by hand into visually intelligible positions, respecting the clusters suggested by NodeXL’s implementation of the Wakita-Tsurumi algorithm. Nodes are colored on the basis of eigenvector centrality. The degree of investment that organizations make in lobbying is measured by the total number of filings it made in this proceeding over the period of study, and reflected in the size of the node. This information is obtained by running another VBA macro against the underlying ECFS metadata, and then matching that to the vertices in the graph.”

Read more about this industry network at JoSS.

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