Introduction to Social Network Analysis with R

These are materials for the workshop Introduction to Social Network Analysis with R.

Things to do before the workshop

  1. Install or update R on your computer to the recent version (3.1.0) by downloading from a CRAN server near you. It is crucial that you have at least version 3.0.0.
  2. Install or update necessary R packages: igraph (version 0.6-0 or later), network, intergraph (version 2.0 or later), and ggplot2. See below how.
  3. Install RStudio.
  4. Download the archive with data files and tutorial scripts from here. Please unZIP it in a dedicated folder.

I was told that all participants should be able to have a free Internet (wifi) access during the workshop and conference as a whole. Therefore, online access to scripts and data should also be possible during the workshop.

Below are some more detailed instructions.

Install R

Unless you did not do that yet, or you do not plan to follow the examples during the workshop, please install R on your computer prior the workshop. This should be straightforward on Windows and Mac. On Linux for most distributions there are binary versions available on respective official repositories. Otherwise you should compile R from sources, which I'm sure you know how if you use Linux (see R Installation and Administration manual for more help).

R can be downloaded from any CRAN server.

Install RStudio

RStudio is a fairly new IDE for R. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I highly recommend it. I will be using RStudio for demonstrations.

Installation of RStudio is recommended but really not necessary to be able to follow the examples during the workshop. If you are familiar with other ways of interacting with R (Windows R interface or Mac interface, etc.) you do not have to install RStudio.

Install additional packages

We will be using additional R packages during the workshop. These are:

  • igraph (0.6-0 or later)
  • network
  • intergraph (2.0 or later)
  • ggplot2

To check the version of an installed package you can, using igraph as an example, issue the following command:


You can install the packages from within R (with an Internet connection) with the following command:

install.packages( c("igraph", "network", "intergraph", "ggplot2") )

R may ask you to choose a CRAN mirror from where to download the files. Choose one near you.

Depending on your system and configuration, R may ask you whether to create an additional library tree where these packages should be installed. You will need to allow that.

Download data and tutorial scripts

I have prepared a couple of data files that we will use during the workshop and tutorial scripts with examples. They are ZIPped and to be downloaded from here (to be updated!). Please unZIP it in a dedicated folder.