[statnet_help] temporal ergm with partially observed networks

Tom Kraft kraft.tom at gmail.com
Tue May 12 08:21:04 PDT 2020

Dear statnet,

Thank you for all your wonderful work. I am looking for advice on methods
applicable to network data that doesn't fit neatly into the types of data
that regularly appear in statnet tutorials. I have a list of sequential
discrete time networks involving the same set of actors. At each timepoint,
however, I only observe some percent of actors in the whole network (~30%).
For all actors observed I have complete knowledge of their ties, including
the identity of alters. I would like construct a model of these empirical
data with relatively basic terms that can be used to simulate full temporal
networks with similar network structures.

Given the temporal nature of the networks, it seems that a standard tergm
could appropriately be used to model the formation and dissolution of ties.
Yet given the nature of the sampling, for any given network I'm inclined to
think that the data are essentially egocentric with known alter info
because if I have information on a node I can be sure that I know all the
connections of that individual. Thus, I am wondering if it is possible to
conduct a temporal version of the ergm.ego model. From the materials I have
found online, it seems this should be possible:

"The principles of egocentric inference can be extended to temporal ERGMs
(TERGMs). While we will not cover that in this workshop, an example can be
found in another paper that sought to evaluate the network hypothsis for
racial disparities in HIV in the US (Morris et al. 2009)." -

However, I am unable to find worked examples to follow up on that
reference/approach and it is not clear to me how to implement this.
Additionally, it seems like ergm.ego is not designed to incorporate
information on identifiable alters -- in which case the methods developed
in Kosikinen and Robins (2010) perhaps would be more appropriate so that
this useful information is not ignored.

Alternatively, I could imagine that this analysis is best conceived of as a
tergm with missing data at each time step. In this case info on alter ids
could be fully utilized I think.

I would be very grateful if anyone could comment on whether one of these
approaches seems feasible, or if there are other options I might consider.
Any materials or references to vignettes/tutorials/papers on the topic
would also be appreciated. Thank you in advance! Best,


Thomas Kraft
Postdoctoral Scholar
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara
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