Visualization: The UReddit Community

As can be seen from the UReddit source code, everything in UReddit is internally represented as an “object” – users, classes, lectures, class categories, and so on. Associations between objects are interpreted based on context, e.g. a certain type of association between a class and a user denotes that the user in question has registered for that class.

Since everything is an object and all relationships are modeled by associations between objects (even messages between users), there is a very clear and quantifiable record of the degree of interconnectedness of our community. This means that we can visualize the data!

Without further ado, here is a graph of all relationships between all objects in our database, including PMs:

A visualization of the entire UReddit community

A visualization of the entire UReddit community

This visualization was made using LaNet-vi and those interested in the full details of the graph should refer to this paper. In brief, the objects that have more connections are represented closer to the center, and the size of a dot is logarithmically proportional to the total number of relationships the corresponding object has.

More formally, each ring corresponds to the smallest k such that the subgraph induced by the collection of vertices in that ring has internal degree at least k: for example, each red dot in the center ring is directly related to at least 22 other objects in the same ring. The inner rings therefore correspond mainly to the most active users and the largest classes, while the outermost ring corresponds mainly to objects with very narrow scope (such as lectures) and with low interconnectivity (such as inactive users and empty/canceled classes.)

As we can see, the UReddit community is so interconnected (even if this perhaps isn’t obvious on our website) that the edges in the graph are thick enough to obscure the white background.

So here’s another visualization, this time showing only classes, categories, and users, and where edges represent the categorization of classes and enrollment of users in classes:

A visualization of UReddit enrollment

A visualization of UReddit enrollment

As we can see, there is quite a bit of enrollment. The fact that we can now actually see the white background behind the graph shows how much of the first graph represented social interactions such as direct PMs, mass PMs, and voting.

It isn’t publicly obvious because UReddit is rather decentralized, allowing teachers to host their classes wherever they like, but it seems that user engagement is quite high. That’s what we like to see!

Follow @uofreddit on Twitter for timely updates and subscribe to/r/UniversityofReddit for discussion. (A big announcement is coming soon, keep an eye out!)

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