, Volume 63, Issue 7, pp 1089-1096
Date: 02 Apr 2009

Social network analysis and valid Markov chain Monte Carlo tests of null models

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Analyses of animal social networks derived from group-based associations often rely on randomisation methods developed in ecology (Manly, Ecology 76:1109–1115, 1995) and made available to the animal behaviour community through implementation of a pair-wise swapping algorithm by Bejder et al. (Anim Behav 56:719–725, 1998). We report a correctable flaw in this method and point the reader to a wider literature on the subject of null models in the ecology literature. We illustrate the importance of correcting the method using a toy network and use it to make a preliminary analysis of a network of associations among eagle rays.

Communicated by Guest Editor D. Lusseau
This contribution is part of the special issue “Social Networks: new perspectives” (Guest Editors: J. Krause, D. Lusseau and R. James).