SNAPT | Social Network Analysis via Perceptual Taxonomy

The SNAPT prototype was developed by UNL professors Bilal Khan and Kirk Dombrowski in 2014 as open-source software that facilitated the rapid discovery of the social networks of Alaska Natives. The SNAPT Library contains a app that allowed participants to sort photographs of members of their community on a touch-screen table. During pilot trials of the SNAPT prototype in two communities, participants in a study of helping relationships among Alaska Natives used “drag and drop” techniques to sort the pictures of other participants into “Friends,” “People I recognize,” and “People I don't know” bins. Having completed the initial sorting, participants then binned the "People I recognize" into social clusters. The process represents a significant advance over traditional social network topology data collection methods that rely on interview “name generators” to collect ego networks, which are subsequently “matched” to generate the network links. Compared to traditional techniques, SNAPT is far less labor-intensive, time-consuming, and thus does not run the risk of exhausting interviewees’ patience before complete network data for the participant pool has been collected.