Social network analysis and valid Markov chain Monte Carlo tests of null models

Stefan Krause, Lutz Mattner, Richard James, Tristan Guttridge, Mark J. Corcoran, Samuel H. Gruber, Jens Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Analyses of animal social networks derived from group-based associations often rely on randomisation methods developed in ecology (Manly, Ecology 76:1109-1115, 1995) and made available to the animal behaviour community through implementation of a pair-wise swapping algorithm by Bejder et al. (Anim Behav 56:719-725, 1998). We report a correctable flaw in this method and point the reader to a wider literature on the subject of null models in the ecology literature. We illustrate the importance of correcting the method using a toy network and use it to make a preliminary analysis of a network of associations among eagle rays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1096
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Group living
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo tests
  • Null models
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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