Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011

Social network analysis has been one of the fastest growing and most influential areas of recent times. Why has this happened? What are the key features of social network analysis?

This sparkling Handbook offers an unrivalled resource. Systematically, it introduces readers to the key concepts, substantive topics, central methods, and prime debates. Among the specific areas covered are: Network theory; Interdisciplinary applications; Online networks; Corporate networks; Lobbying networks; Deviant networks; Measuring devices; Key Methodologies; Software applications

The result is a peerless resource for teachers and students. It offers a critical survey of the origins, basic issues and major debates. Instead of consulting a variety of books and journal articles, the Handbook offers a one-stop guide that will be used by readers for decades to come.

Chapter 32: Exponential Random Graph Models for Social Networks

Exponential Random Graph Models for Social Networks

Exponential random graph models for social networks


Humans constantly monitor and respond to their social environment. We seek advantage from the opportunities the social environment presents, to adapt our behaviors in response to social constraints imposed on us, and to change our social worlds to maximize those opportunities and minimize those constraints. This incessant flow of social process implies that social networks are not fixed structures that are predetermined and singular. Rather, they are changeable, evolving not towards a single optimal point – for there is no single optimal point of social structure – but towards a range of varying networks, each broadly consistent with one another but instantiated at different points in time. This constant change does not ...

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