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Finding and exploiting a structural hole can give an entrepreneur a competitive advantage.
Social network analysis has its theoretical roots in the work of early sociologists such as Georg Simmel and Émile Durkheim, who wrote about the importance of studying patterns of relationships that connect social actors.
Social scientists have used the concept of "social networks" since early in the 20th century to connote complex sets of relationships between members of social systems at all scales, from interpersonal to international.
It characterizes networked structures in terms of nodes (individual actors, people, or things within the network) and the ties, edges, or links (relationships or interactions) that connect them.
Examples of social structures commonly visualized through social network analysis include social media networks, These networks are often visualized through sociograms in which nodes are represented as points and ties are represented as lines.
In signed social networks, there is the concept of "balanced" and "unbalanced" cycles.