Attribute manager

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An attribute is a function that maps elements of the network (such as nodes or links) to values. An attribute has a name, domain (specifying the type of network elements it is defined on), type (specifying the possible values, such as text, integer, boolean, etc), and possibly a default value and a description. Attributes attach information to network elements, such as the name or age or geographic coordinates of a node or the width or capacity or encoded type of relation of a link. Attributes also encode the results of a network analysis algorithm such as node centrality of cluster membership. The attribute manager provides functionality related to the creation, configuration, and automatical modification of attributes, as well as methods for selecting and filtering nodes and links based on their attributes. The attribute manager is started by clicking on its icon Attribute manager.png in visone's toolbar.


Contents

What to do with which attributes?

The four buttons in the top row are used to select the type of elements whose attributes one wants to manage, namely

Attribute manager2.png

The six buttons on the left-hand side are used to specify what kind of management one is looking for, namely

These categories of attribute management are further explained below.

In general, whenever you have specified an operation you have to click on the apply button to execute it. Depending on the operation you can choose to apply it only to the current network or to several networks at once, you can specify whether the operation should be only applied to the currently selected elements and whether the operation result should modify the network directly (choose result in same tab) or whether visone should first create a copy of the network and apply the operation to this copy (new tab).

Show & edit

The Show & edit category can be used to explore the values that the nodes/links (or the selected nodes/links, if there are selected nodes/links) assume on all attributes.

Attribute manager show n edit.png

You can also modify the values if the allow editing box is checked and you can specify whether to display only a subset of attributes (use check marks at the top).

Note, that attribute values are typically not added manually (which would be tiresome). It is more usual that attributes are imported from files or computed by a network analysis algorithm.

Select

The category select allows you to select all elements that have a specified value in a given attribute.

Attribute manager select.png

The drop-down menu right of attribute is used to choose the attribute that should define the selection. The table below then shows all different values of that attribute and the number of elements that have these values. Clicking on one or several (keep the Control key pressed) rows in this table selects all these elements.

Note that the category filter offers much more powerful ways to select elements dependent on attributes.

Configure

The configure category allows you to create or delete attribute functions, to change meta information (such as name, type, default value, and description) and to select one attribute as node / link label.

Attribute manager configure.png

To create a new attribute click on the create attribute button (which adds a new row to the table above) and specify the attributes meta information:

When all this information is specified, you have to click on the apply button to actually create the attribute.

You can also change the meta information for attributes that are already defined for the network. Attributes can be deleted by checking the box delete in the rightmost column.

All these changes can be done only for the current network (choose this network in the drop-down menu) or for all open networks.

Note that whenever some attribute is scheduled for creation or deletion or some of its meta information has been changed, you have to click on the apply button at the bottom of the attribute manager to execute these changes.

Manipulate

The manipulate category provides powerful means to apply automatic transformations to one or several attributes. One example is provided in the tutorial on advanced attribute management.

Attribute manager manipulate.png

In the first drop-down menu you specify the type of manipulation

You can copy an existing attribute and all its values to an already existing attribute (if you want to overwrite this) or provide a new name of the result attribute (if you just want to create a copy that you might modify later without loosing the original information).

You can rank the elements with respect to any numerical attribute that is already in the network.

Merge to list enables you to concatenate the values of two or more existing attriubtes (pressing Crtl key to add single ones or holding shift key to select a number of successive ones) into a comma separated list of these values.

Conversely, there are a number of possibilities to convert list values, namely calculating their maximum, minimum, average, or sum, count the number of elements, number of distinct elements, or concatenate them.

Finally, manipulate values provides means to apply certain functions to the values of one or several existing attributes, among others

While the attribute manager, thus, offers only a limited set of functions to transform attributes, general transformations can be specified and executed via visone's R interface; this is illustrated in the tutorial on using visone's R console.

Filter

Category filter can be used to select elements dependent on attribute values, graphical values, incidence to selected links, adjacency to selected nodes, or combinations thereof. It is much more powerful than attribute management category select.

Attribute manager filter.png

Each row in the central area defines one condition for the filter; an element gets only selected if it satisfies all conditions. The radio buttons at the bottom specify how the selection defined by the filter is combined with the current selection (if any):

There are several possibilities to specify a condition (one row of the filter):

Import & export

Attributes can be imported from and exported to files in comma-separated value tables; this is illustrated in the data input tutorial. When importing attributes from a .csv file you have to specify how the data shall be joined. That is, the .csv file should contain a column that is named according to the join by attribute of the network. It is also possible to import an additional link attribute via a .csv matrix (nodes IDs in the matrix have to be the same as in the network).

Attribute manager import.png

When exporting attributes you can specify how the data shall be sorted, using the attribute selected for sort by.

If you are working with more than one network tabs, you can also export one specified attribute of all open networks as a table.

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