Real-Time Social Network - Exploring the Design Space for a Multi-User Real-Time Visualisation Tool for Social Network Analysis
In society we handle an increasing amount of information and relations on a daily basis. To overcome the risk of information overload and to make sense of these aspects of our surroundings we employ various kinds of tools and aids. Visualisation of information is a common tool for this and can be found in most areas of society. In studying social networks, researchers often use visualisations to identify key actors and to understand the exchange of information. This typically involves time-consuming data gathering activities and answering questions in past tense. While social network analysis (SNA) contributes with valuable understandings for the future it provides little or no use for involved actors in the present. Realising the potential of SNA in real-time application to promote situational awareness and collaboration, practitioners and researchers in the emergency response field have called for the translational research and development of SNA tools for practitioners. The aim of this thesis is to explore the design space for a real-time multi-user visualisation tool for social network analysis. This is achieved by the construction and evaluation of a prototype for such a tool. For this purpose Action Design Research (ADR) is conducted, situated in the domain of emergency response. The results consist of a set of design principles manifesting key aspects needed to address when designing a real-time multi-user network visualisation tool. The prototype and the possible design solutions derived from the development and evaluation process each constitutes an example of how to design for a social network visualisation tool of this kind.
Social Network Analysis
Action Design Research
Emergency Response Networks
Crisis Response Management
Report/Department of Applied Information Technology