Social network analysis and valid Markov chain Monte Carlo tests of null models
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- Krause, S., Mattner, L., James, R. et al. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2009) 63: 1089. doi:10.1007/s00265-009-0746-1
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.