Before there was the World Wide Web, social network analysis needed to be done using datasets collected by hand. Sometimes, research had to go to the nearest Karate club to find an interesting social network, sometimes it went to the southern US and sometimes to the East Central Highlands of New Guinea. The three social network datasets linked below are well-known, and you will come across them in the social network analysis literature. Although we now have social networks such as Twitter with billions of edges, these classical datasets still remain relevant, even if just to compare modern results with the old literature.
The Koblenz Network Collection project (KONECT) has now released these three classical social network datasets online:
- Zachary Karate Club: The friendships among members of a Karate club, as published in a study by Wayne Zachary in 1977.
- Southern Women: The bipartite network of women in the Southern United States and the social events they attended, from a study by Allison Davis et al. in 1941.
- Highland Tribes: The network of positive and negative ties among tribes of the Central Highlands of New Guinea, from a study by Kenneth E. Read in 1954.
All datasets are fully available on the KONECT website under the links above.