Where Will Your Country Stand in World War III?


In the recent Panama Papers scandal, journalists analyzed 11.5 million documents using network graphs to trace the use of offshore tax structures. In this chapter, we use a network graph technique called Social Network Analysis (SNA) to map weapons transfer between countries. By analyzing bilateral weapons trade, a network of multilateral ties can be distilled, providing insights into the complex arena of international politics.

SNA is based on mathematics and computer science concepts, and is applied in many social science disciplines. It analyzes relationships between individuals, uncovering social circles and influential people within a network. For instance, it can identify the main character in Game of Thrones, a popular television series. SNA is also used in government intelligence to map out crime rings and terrorist cells. Apart from people, other entities such as objects can be mapped in a network as well.

Introduction to Graphs

In SNA, network structures…

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Association Rules and the Apriori Algorithm


The Problem

When we go grocery shopping, we often have a standard list of things to buy. Each shopper has a distinctive list, depending on one’s needs and preferences. A housewife might buy healthy ingredients for a family dinner, while a bachelor might buy beer and chips. Understanding these buying patterns can help to increase sales in several ways. If there is a pair of items, X and Y, that are frequently bought together:

Tesco Pic (edit).png Product placement in Tesco, UK.

  • Both X and Y can be placed on the same shelf, so that buyers of one item would be prompted to buy the other.
  • Promotional discounts could be applied to just one out of the two items.
  • Advertisements on X could be targeted at buyers who purchase Y.
  • X and Y could be combined into a new product, such as having Y in flavors of X.

While we may know that…

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