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Introduction to Python

Frederik Elwert - Ruhr-University Bochum

One does not need to know how to program in order to do historical network analysis. A lot of available software allows to analyse network data with easy to use graphical user interfaces. Still, there is often a gap between the structure of the source data, which might come in plain text, XML, or any other format, and the structure required by network analysis tools. Basic knowledge of a programming language allows researchers to express appropriate rules to translate their source data into network structures.

Python is an easy to learn programming language that covers a wide range of use cases. It is well suited for working with text, XML, and networks, which make it a good candidate for historical network analysis. The first part of the workshop will introduce basic concepts of programming in general and allow participants to familiarize themselves with the Python environment. The second part will introduce concepts specific to network analysis and show ways of transforming source data into network structures.

Participants should bring their laptop with Python version 3.4 installed. The Anaconda installer already contains all the packages required for this workshop, so this is the recommended version of Python for this purpose. Please note the detailed installation instructions for your operating system.

For further information, additional files and material see the accompanying GitHub repository.


You can take a look at the tutorial also in your browser without having Python installed (note that they are not interactive in this case):