Shakespeare Social Networks

This is an amazing link: Shakespeare Social Networks.

PieSpy is a tool designed to infer and visualize social networks on Internet Relay Chat (IRC). It works by applying simple heuristics to work out who is talking to whom. This information can be used to produce a visualization of the social network, essentially showing which users are connected and how strong those connections are.

As PieSpy matured, it became obvious that IRC was not the only suitable testing ground. By feeding PieSpy with the entire texts of Shakespeare plays, it became possible to produce drawings of the social networks present in his plays – it is now possible to visualize the relationships between the characters in his works.

So it treats a Shakespeare play as an extended IRC session. Brilliant. I love thinking outside the box!

Of course, it doesn’t have to be limited to Shakespeare. You could feed the program any play, script, or written work that looks enough like dialogue from a chat session. Jeez, or law enforcement agencies could use it to draw social network diagrams of people based on wiretaps…

2 thoughts on “Shakespeare Social Networks”

  1. Michael to Jordan?
    Yes, it’s silly season, but we’ve got it on pretty good authority that there’s some definite connection between Michael Schumacher and Jordan (other than 13 years ago and the Spa race), and it’s got to be right because a computer said so. Here’s our evidence. This is a graph showing relationships between the various parties…

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