MSc Report Abstract

Steve edited this page May 22, 2016 · 2 revisions

This is an extract from my MSc report with just the abstract page. For a full copy of the report write up, I have added it to


This report presents a tool that can be used to aid the study of online social networks. It builds upon earlier work that studied Usenet groups which were limited by the manual data collection methods used. The main goal of the application is to allow the user to select newsgroups they are interested in, quickly download large numbers of messages and allow them to preview the data. It includes a graphical representation of the networks which clearly shows the clusters and isolated individuals in the network. The report will show that the application will yield the same results as manual data collection methods, but at a much faster rate. The chosen output file format is compatible with Pajek, a popular open source social network analysis tool.

Keywords and Phrases

Social Network Analysis, Pajek, Usenet, online communities, Automated data collection

The author acknowledges the help of his supervisor Dr Panayiotis Zaphiris who suggested the project and gave assistance to the background of the subject, and also the help of his PhD student Ulrike Pfeil who gave feedback on the prototypes.