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DomArchive: a century of a published dominance data

DomArchive is a data package compiling dominance interaction data published over a century of research. The goal of the package is to facilitate comparative research on the structure and function of dominance hierarchies. The archive contains 434 agonistic interaction datasets, totaling over 241,000 interactions.

Installing the package

To install the package with the vignette, run (requires devtools package):

devtools::install_github("DomArchive/DomArchive", build_vignettes = TRUE)

To view an introductory vignette about how to use the package, run:

vignette('introduction', package = "DomArchive")

What's in the package?

The package contains three primary elements:

  1. - a list containing both data and metadata. Each element of the list is a unique data entry, named after the first author and year of publication. Each element of the list contains two named elements -- matrix containing the interaction sociomatrix and metadata containing the metadata associated with the data. In cases where data are in an edgelist rather than a matrix, the first named element is edgelist instead of matrix.

  2. dom.metadata - a dataframe containing the metadata for the complete dataset. The information in the dom.metadata dataframe is exactly identical to what you would get if you extracted and combined every metadata element in

  3. subset_archive() - a function for selecting subsets of the data based upon the metadata. Users can either provide a vector of fileids specifying the datasets to return, or the users can provide paired columns and values lists specifying metadata columns and the associated values to retain for each column.


Here is a summary of the metadata associated with each datafile:

Metadata Column Meaning Potential values
fileid Unique identifier for data
order Order (taxonomic rank)
species Species name
common_name Common name
study_site Nation where study was conducted
captivity Captive or free-ranging animals? "Captive", "Natural"
sex Males, females, or both? "M", "F", "MF"
age What age classes? "Adult", "Non-Adult", "Mixed"
measure What behavior was measured?
data_location Where is data in reference (e.g., Tb1)?
countbinary Are data raw counts or binary? (edgelists are counts) "Count", "Binary"
repeat_group Are there multiple datasets for this group? "Yes", "No"
groupid Unique identifier for social group
matrix_edgelist Are data in matrix or edgelist format? "Matrix", "Edgelist"
edgelist_time_meaning For edgelist data, what is the meaning (units) of the "time" column
note Miscellaneous notes
full_citation Source for the data

Additionally, metadata includes some quantities calculated from the interaction data. Calculations were made using functions in the compete package (

Quantity Details
number_individuals Number of individuals in the dataset
number_interactions Number of interactions in the dataset
interactions_per_individual Number of interactions per individual
proportion_unknown Proportion of relationships for which there are no observations (matrix data only)
dci Directional consistency index (Van Hooff & Wensing 1987) (count matrix data only)
ttri Triangle transitivity index (Shizuka & McDonald 2012) (matrix data only)
ds_steepness Hierarchy steepness calculated from David's Scores (de Vries et al 2006) (count matrix data only)
modified_landaus_h Modified Landau's h` measure of linearity (de Vries 1995) (matrix data only)

Get involved

If you would like to contribute data to the package, or if you find issues that would like to see addressed, please create an Issue. We appreciate your input!


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