Super Hero Social Network – Visualizing Social Collaboration

From Matthew Hurst, Scientist at Microsoft Live Labs

My colleague, Mukund Narasimhan, pointed me to this paper by P. M. Gleiser on deriving the social networks of super heroes in the Marvel universe.

We analyze a collaboration network based on the Marvel Universe comic books. First, we consider the system as a binary network, where two characters are connected if they appear in the same publication. The analysis of degree correlations reveals that, in contrast to most real social networks, the Marvel Universe presents a disassortative mixing on the degree. Then, we use a weight measure to study the system as a weighted network. This allows us to find and characterize well defined communities. Through the analysis of the community structure and the clustering as a function of the degree we show that the network presents a hierarchical structure. Finally, we comment on possible mechanisms responsible for the particular motifs observed.

Of course, super hero networks aren’t like those of us mere mortals!

Below we see some of the graph, with Spider-Man (SM), Thing (T), Beast (B), Captain America (CA), Namor (N) and Hulk (H).


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