Social Network Analysis
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The tendency of humans to connect with one another is a deep-rooted social need that precedes the advent of the Web and Internet technologies. In the past, social interactions were achieved through face-to-face contact, postal mail, and telecommunication technologies. The last of these is also relatively recent when compared with the history of mankind. However, the popularization of the Web and Internet technologies has opened up entirely new avenues for enabling the seamless interaction of geographically distributed participants. This extraordinary potential of the Web was observed during its infancy by its visionary founders. However, it required a decade before the true social potential of the Web could be realized. Even today, Web-based social applications continue to evolve and create an ever-increasing amount of data. This data is a treasure trove of information about user preferences, their connections, and their influences on others. Therefore, it is natural to leverage this data for analytical insights.