Digital Technologies Expo
The presentation will introduce some datasets recording the social connections of Chinese Buddhists (100 CE -1900 CE). The data can be directly used within Gephi for visualization and analysis. Derived from biographical literature and lineage records, it is so far the most comprehensive data available for viewing Chinese Buddhist history in network terms. Zooming into regions of the network, historians can explore the relationships between actors at a given time. Each relationship-link between actors is referenced to canonical and para-canonical sources. We can now explore how traditional network measures such as centralities, or clique identification can be used to improve our understanding of Buddhist history in East Asia. Research questions include: How can different centrality measures help to guide a historian’s search for who is “important” in Chinese history? How bad is the gender gap in Buddhist history and how can it be visualized in a network? What connections are there between the structure of the sources and the topology of the network? Does the algorithmic identification of communities allow us to discover hitherto unknown cliques?
Resources for the use of social network analysis: http://mbingenheimer.net/tools/socnet/index.html