IEEE TCDL Bulletin
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TCDL Bulletin
Volume 3   Issue 2
Summer 2007


Visualizing an Enterprise Social Network from Email

Weizhong Zhu, Chaomei Chen, Robert B. Allen
College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
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Understanding the patterns of sending and receiving email within an organization may help us to understand the historical and social dimensions of that organization. However, previous tools for visualizing, analyzing, and understanding communication patterns have provided only static views of such patterns.

We are developing a visualization system called EMAIL Vista to help users explore both temporal and connectivity patterns. We use this system to study how an email network of an enterprise working group evolves over time. We believe emergent communication patterns over email can lead to insights into the social dynamics of the underlying working group. For example, the information flow in email conversations may reflect emerging events.

The second goal of this work is to study the role of actors in such social networks by integrating linkage analysis and content analysis. We consider all participating actors in the email thread with linkages between them. Our design can help users understand the roles of actors in terms of their influence and contributions to concept building.

A variety of techniques are integrated, including text mining and linkage analyses such as degree centrality, betweenness, and PageRank weighted by interaction frequency. Specifically, our system is designed to support browsing the email archive of W3C working groups from the TREC 2005 Enterprise Competition. This archive contains emails exchanged between group members between 1994 and 2004. Our focus is on the URI working group because the history of this working group is closely related to the growth of W3C itself. Altogether 4460 email transactions are included in this dataset.

Thumbnail image of poster

For a larger view of Figure 1, click here.


© Copyright 2007 Weizhong Zhu, Chaomei Chen, and Robert B. Allen
Some or all of these materials were previously published in the Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital libraries, ACM 1-59593-354-9.

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