From Diagram to Network

A Multi-mode Network Approach to Analyze Diagrams of Art History
  • Yanan Sun
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8359)


This paper aims to remove a constraint of applying network approach to art history. First, it points out, although old diagrams of art history did not use the language of modern network theory, they have already shown ingenuous network thinking to theorize the development of arts. Meanwhile, the indirect visual devices and the embracive tradition of these diagrams, which includes entities in various properties, prevent the application of computer-aided network methods to decipher and re-analyze the contents of this heritage of art historical research. To break this shackle, this paper suggests a multi-mode network approach to “translate” the traditional network thinking of art diagrams to the conceptualization of graph-theoretical network analysis. By doing so, this paper demonstrates how art historical research could benefit from modern sociological approach to network theory. To explain the usefulness and advantage of this method, the diagrams of Covarrubias and Barr are taken as examples to be converted into graph-theoretical networks.


multi-mode network historic network research art history art-history diagram 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanan Sun
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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