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Below a poster about Communication Networks which was made for mathematics exhibition IMAGINARY by Anna Priante from the Rotterdam School of Management. 

From tweets to communication networks

Network visualizations have the power to display how we communicate with each other in social media. We can simply depict message exchanges using communication networks. In such a network, nodes represent users, and there exists an edge between two nodes when the corresponding users exchange information (an email or a tweet).

In this poster, network visualizations showcase the evolution of communication between Twitter users before, during and after the 2014 US Movember health campaign organized by the Movember Foundation, a social movement organization that raises awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.  Those visualizations unravel interesting dynamics, showing that communication is centered around a core of nodes that mostly converse with each other. Over time, this structure is maintained yet, as the campaign unfolds, people decrease their active participation, and move to the periphery of the network or even leave the network.

The networks shown were created using tweets provided by the Twitter Datagrant Project (University of Twente). Each visualization represents a specific phase of the campaign, namely,

1: the pre-campaign, or launching, phase from 15 to 31 October 2014;

2: the campaign’s first two weeks, from 1 to 15 November 2014;

3: the campaign’s second two weeks, from 16 to 30 November 2014;

4: and the post-campaign phase, from 1 to 15 December 2014.

Nodes represent the people who tweeted using #hashtags (i.e., markers of content) related to the campaign. Edges have different colors depending on the type of tweet that was exchanged: red for mentions, blue for retweets, green for replies and orange for regular tweets.

The network visualizations were realized using Fruchterman Reingold, Force Atlas 2, and Yifan Hu Proportional algorithms provided by the Gephi software. If you want to read more about Anna's research you can have a look at this article she wrote.

Feel free to print and use this poster for educational purposes. Since this material is protected under a Creative Commons licence we ask you to mention Anna Priante and the Network Pages when using it.