This abstract presents the outcomes of a summer research project SPUR. The project aimed to explore and enhance netplot, an advanced network visualization tool in R programming, and its applications in social network analysis. netplot, a powerful R package, enables high-quality and aesthetically pleasing graph visualizations. Leveraging 'The Grid Graphics Package' (the same ggplot2 uses,) netplot offers automatic vertex scaling, full-screen mode, edge color mixing, and minimal dependencies, providing a user-friendly and flexible platform for generating stunning visual representations of data.
The research encompassed two phases. In the first phase, a comprehensive presentation was prepared to highlight netplot's capabilities and effective utilization. With over 6,000 downloads to date, netplot's success and popularity in the scientific community were evident. The project conducted experiments and case studies using various datasets, including those from the University of Utah, showcasing the package's real-world applications and recent improvements.
During the second phase, efforts were dedicated to enhancing netplot's usability and documentation. A detailed paper for potential publication discussed the technical aspects of the package and emphasized its significance in addressing contemporary challenges in social network analysis. The documentation was improved to provide clear explanations of parameters, enabling informed decisions for tailored visualizations.
The research also focused on identifying and summarizing graphing algorithms compatible with netplot, enhancing the package's versatility for different network data types. An extensive literature review was conducted, highlighting key aspects for future advancements in graph creation and network visualization.