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Social Network Analysis - How Many Communities Am I In?

Note: I wrote this in 2015 or so.

I grew up in Los Angeles and attended a public magnet high school called LACES. I went to Hebrew school Temple Emanuel. After graduating from high school, I matricuated at Harvard College, where I studied physics and was involved in theater and sketch comedy. After graduating from Harvard College, I co-founded Philo, a venture-backed tech startup in Harvard Square, and volunteered as a non-resident tutor at Harvard’s Quincy House. After four years at Philo, I matriculated at Harvard Business School, where I was assigned to Section J MBA 2015.

I wondered if I could somehow “see” the communities that I had been a part of in this network structure. To answer this, I scraped my Facebook graph and iteratively ran the Louvain community detection algorithm to create a hierarchical set of communities. I arbitrarily chose 25 people as my minimum community size. I plotted this hierarchy using a Reingold–Tilford Tree, and after looking at who was in them named the communities ex ante where it made sense. (Of course, if you know me and have a better name for any of these communities based on your own understanding of the social dynamic, let me know!)

Not everybody is represented in this graph, including some of my best friends. This is because we’re not plotting people who don’t fit into any of these “large” communities. Other people cut across many communities (like Ho Tuan, who was also in the science and film communities at Harvard and co-founded Philo with me) so placement seems somewhat arbitrary.

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