Neighbourhood-based Models for Social Networks: Model Specification Issues

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 9:30am - 10:20am
Keller 3-180
Phillipa Pattison (University of Melbourne)
Pattison and Robins (2002) argued that social networks can be modelled as the outcome of processes that occur in overlapping local regions of the network, termed local social neighbourhoods. Within this framework, each neighbourhood is conceived as a possible site of interaction and is associated with a subset of possible network ties. Global network structure is then hypothesised to arise as the outcome of processes occurring within these overlapping local neighbourhoods. In this paper, we review theoretical arguments for various hypotheses about the forms of these local neighbourhoods. We consider Markovian neighbourhoods as well as generalized realisation-dependent neighbourhoods that are generated, in part, by interactive network processes themselves. We introduce some promising new neighbourhood forms including what we term k-triangles, multiple triadic structures sharing a common dyadic base. We also introduce hypothesized relationships between parameters representing related neighbourhood structures, such as k-stars or k-triangles, and thereby obtain simplified model specifications. Illustrative empirical analyses based on these various model specifications are presented.

Reference: Pattison, P., & Robins, G. L. (2002). Neighbourhood-based models for social networks. Sociological Methodology, 32, 301-337.