Integrating Micro-level Interactions with Social Network Analysis in Tie Strength Research: The Edge-centered Approach

Osku Torre, Jayesh Prakash Gupta , Hannu Kärkkäinen, Henri Pirkkalainen, Ravi Vatrapu, Raghava Rao Mukkamala, Abid Hussain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A social tie is a target for ongoing, high-level scientific debate. Measuring the tie strength in social networks has been an important topic for academic studies since Mark Granovetter's seminal papers in 1970's. However, it is still a problematic issue mainly for two reasons: 1) existing tie strength measurements may not reflect the true social connections of individuals accurately enough, and 2) many different methods to gather data from social media are not applicable anymore due to different data openness issues. In addition, we have only little empirical knowledge of the actual tie strengthening process in online social networks. Therefore, we suggest a new approach to tie strength research, which focuses on studying communication patterns (edges) more rather than actors (nodes) in a social network.
In this paper we build a social network analysis-based approach to enable the evaluation of tie strength based on reciprocal interaction from publicly available Facebook data, and suggest that this approach could work as a basis for further tie strength studies. Our approach makes use of weak tie theory, and enables researchers to study micro-level interactions (i.e. discussions, messages, relationships) with large-scale social network analysis (SNA). This study provides a way to find relevant actors from publicly available data in the context of tie strengthening process, and answers how to take this stream of research closer to computational social science.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st International Academic Mindtrek Conference
EditorsMarkku Turunen, Heli Väätäjä, Janne Paavilainen, Thomas Olsson
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781450354264
ISBN (Electronic)9781450354264
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event21st Academic Mindtrek Conference 2017 - Tampere Hall Congress and Concert Centre, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 20 Sept 201721 Sept 2017
Conference number: 21


Conference21st Academic Mindtrek Conference 2017
LocationTampere Hall Congress and Concert Centre
Internet address


  • Social network
  • Social tie
  • Social network analysis
  • Tie strength
  • Open data

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