Granovetter diagrams, animated

Hello, hello! I’m behind on replying to topics on here but I’ve been busy at work with the paper, etc.

I’ve also been working on a way to make diagrams for the paper that could also be reused in videos and look compelling. We sometimes talk about “whiteboard-style animated diagrams”, so here’s just such a thing:


Note that MarkM has some lovely animated diagrams also in this talk. I found those really inspiring!

I wanted mine to look like someone actually had drawn them on a whiteboard though. In the future, I’d like to not just have “Alice, Bob, Carol” but actual drawings of Alice, Bob, Carol interacting, etc. This style should be fairly possible to compose with the kinds of drawings I’m reasonably good at composing quickly.

(On that note, as a bonus, here’s an animation I did over the weekend. That was partly for fun, partly a ramp up to get ready for this. You can see how composing with character art might work though.)


Also, the middle arrow doesn’t stretch as naturally as I’d like it to. Should be better in future revisions. But we thought this was good enough to post for review.

By the way, I did these all in Blender using Grease Pencil. The neat thing is that these are actually vector graphics and can be exported straight from the program to SVG. Thus, usable and appropriate for papers too.

MarkM gave some feedback, and now I’ve updated it and it has achieved the MarkM Seal of Approval




I would love to see the discontinuities removed (the A-C arrow tail jumping into the message, and the dotted arrow to C jumping into B, like a flea)

Why? I think continuity would help cement in the viewer’s mind the idea that A is simply moving something that it already had, and B is incorporating what A sent. To me discontinuities imply transformation or possible degradation, i.e. doubt as to identity.

It would look like those special effects in movies where a soul leaves a body, the ghostlike alien leaves its host, etc

Just a thought.


Excellent idea. I will give it a try when I have a chance.

I created an interactive Granovetter visualization tool to support my “Actor Interaction Patterns” talk at Strange Loop 2011. It was written in Processing. I had originally imagined using it as part of an actor debugging tool.



Did you publish that tool? Debugging is going to need tools like this …

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The tools was designed to meet my presentation needs, so I didn’t think it was general-purpose enough to publish. I spent some time working on an integration with my Humus language simulator in JavaScript, but I ran into some complexities I didn’t have the energy to tackle at the time. If we wanted to take another run at this, I would be happy to discuss lessons learned from my previous efforts.