Dynamic Network Actor Models: Investigating Coordination Ties through Time



Important questions in the social sciences are concerned with the circumstances under which individuals, organizations or states mutually agree to form social network ties. Examples of such coordination ties are found in such diverse domains as scientific collaboration, international treaties, or romantic relationships and marriage. This presentation introduces Dynamic Network Actor Models (DyNAM) for the statistical analysis of coordination networks through time. The strength of the models is that they explicitly address five aspects about coordination networks that empirical researchers will typically want to take into account. First, that observations are dependent, second, that ties reflect the opportunities and preferences of both actors involved, third, that the creation of coordination ties is a two-sided process, fourth, that data might be available in a time-stamped format, and fifth, that processes typically differ between tie creation and dissolution (signed processes), between shorter and longer time windows (windowed processes), and between initial and repeated creation of ties (weighted processes). Two empirical case studies demonstrate the potential impact of DyNAM models: One is concerned with the formation of romantic relationships in a high school over 18 months, one investigates the formation of international fisheries treaties from 1947 to 2010.