Social Network – A Song of Ice and Fire

George R.R Martin Works Across the Street from his House

It’s true,  he bought the property across the street from his home in New Mexico. It’s just a short walk across the way, he might even stop to grab the morning paper. George mentions that his wife appreciates it because now he has to put on clothes when he works. But if you happen to spot George wearing a bathrobe as he crosses the street; one must be careful not to rule out the possible sighting of a Wizard.

Now, there are over 150 characters in the Game of Thrones story, and each of them so deeply endearing that we often feel emotional shock when they fail, are maimed, or killed. The following diagram was pulled from a study published by Andrew Beveridge and Jie Shan of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) which is like the MMA for nerds. Except not, in fact you know nothing until you download the full report:

Full Report in PDF format here

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR)

OK, Jon Snow. But the document is only 5 pages and really quite interesting, I suggest you give it a try. In essence, we are mapping the social network of A Game of Thrones using the science of modularity. The data is not only visualized by the number of Facebook Friends each character has but also how popular those friends are with other people in the community. Neat, huh?

Well it gets better, the mapping also takes into consideration similar algorithms to Google’s page ranking system, and the colors divide up the seven primary communities: (37% to the Lannisters of King’s Landing)

And who are you, the proud lord said,
that I must bow so low?
Only a cat of a different coat,
that’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red,
a lion still has claws,
And mine are long and sharp, my lord,
as long and sharp as yours.

The Image was Created Using Gephi

Now, let’s get ready to geek out because Gephi is the open source data visualization software and it’s super fun and easy to use. It automatically maps out your data in real time, so you can adjust various weight parameters and see how the graph expands and contracts. It’s like watching a molecule trying to untangle itself.

It takes a little massaging before you get something that looks nice, and 90% of the work is going to be preparation in the database. But for the hobbyists like myself, some simple setup in Microsoft Excel is enough to get your balls rolling:

Process Groups

Sorry about the image quality. Was looking for the source files I used to create these last year. But this will have to do.