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Network Analysis: Ego Networks

Ego Network

    Egocentric networks are local networks with one central node, known as the ego. The network is based off the ego and all other nodes directly connected to the ego are called alters. An Ego is the focal point of the network during data collection and analysis and are ‘surrounded’ by alters. Each alter is nominated only by the ego, therefore egocentric networks are often referred to "perceived" or "cognitive" networks. Ego network analysis is used to analyze the ties among individuals for social support, access to resources, dissemination of information, and alters as influential actors.

    In the example to the right, the ego is node 'A' and is connected to five alters, nodes 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', and 'F'. Some alters have ties amongst each other, for example nodes 'B' with 'D' and 'C' with 'D' while nodes 'F' and 'E' only have a tie to the ego. This is an undirected and unweighted egocentric network.

Example Network