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[igraph] A better workflow for exploratory network analysis (igraph, Red

From: Stephan Schlögl
Subject: [igraph] A better workflow for exploratory network analysis (igraph, RedeR, gephi)
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2014 15:10:39 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.2.0

This question is about network analysis workflows and how to properly integrate different tools for network analysis and network visualization. I was not sure where to post this question, but since igraph is most central to my workflow and I'm going to stick with it, I decided to post here.

Currently I'm using igraph for R, gephi and recently sometimes RedeR. Normally, when doing exploratory network analysis I build my network in R > igraph and run some basic statistics e.g. degrees or other centrality measures and append these values as attributes to the vertices. Afterwards I export the graph as graphml and load it into gephi where I start to explore it. After that I get back to igraph and start to test the generated hypothesis.
I use Gephi because of the following reasons. First of all because of its layout algorithms, which manage to layout huge graphs, and most of my graphs are rather large. Secondly because of the community of developers behind it who constantly come up with new plugins and features. Honestly I like it also, because it produces beautiful outcomes. What I don't like about is its gui. I would prefer to manipulate graphs from within igraph.
If my graph isn't very large I use RedeR, which I discovered recently. In my opinion this is the perfect way to explore graphs. RedeR establishes a stable connection between igraph and a java visualization engine. This allows you to fully manipulate the graph from the R console, but you can also select nodes with the mouse and get your selection of nodes back into R, where you can run further analysis on them.

My little pipe dream is a RedeR-like extension for igraph with gephi layout algorithms. So here are some first ideas to get to that.

+Gephi has a plugin which allows to stream graphs into Gephi. If I understand that right there is a way to stream graphs to gephi in igraph for Python?

+Gephi toolkit is a Java library which be can used to control gephi. This might be a way to automate things by calling this library from within R?

+Since RedeR and Gephi are Java maybe there is a way to use the Gephi layout algorithms from within RedeR?

It would be great if someone could point me in the right direction!

I appreciate any help that you can provide

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