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Last night I was lucky to be able to attend the latest actKM forum where Graham Durant-Law presented on Network Numerology. This presentation was part of Information Awareness Month in Australia.

“Numerology is the study of the purported divine, mystical or other special relationship between a count or measurement and life. The term is most often used in a derogatory sense. Network science is replete with numbers, algorithms and formulas. Often, to the uninitiated, these numbers are akin to numerology and represent a “black art” understood only by a few. In this presentation some of the more common measures used in Social Network Analysis will be demystified. However some numerological numbers will also be discussed. These include Dunbar’s Number and the lesser know Wellman’s Number, along with the Bernard-Kilworth Number and Wu’s Heuristic. It will be up to you to decide whether these numbers are real or a divine measure!”

A link to Graham’s paper can be found on his blog site and is well worth reading. Graham really emphasises how important it is to know what you are doing with Social Network Analysis – the new software available allows you to press all the buttons to get a visualisation of the network, but unless you understand the limitations and boundaries of the numbers you run a real risk of misinformation and misinterpretation.

I also feel very privileged to work with Graham under the HyperEdge Pty Ltd badge. I am constantly on a learning curve but never bored as the SNA space is just fascinating.

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