Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Richard F. Deckro, PhD.


Social network analysis is a tool set whose uses range from measuring the impact of marketing campaigns to disrupting clandestine terrorist organizations. Social network analysis tools are primarily focused on the structure of relationships between actors in the network. However, characteristics of the actors, such as importance or status, are generally the output of the social network analysis rather than an input. Characteristics of actors can come from a number of sources to include information gathering, subject matter experts or social network analysis. Further, the strength of relationships between actors in social networks are often assumed to be all equal. However, relationships range from strong familial like relationships to weak casual relationships. The research developed in this thesis uses actor characteristics, relationship strength and location theory to identify key individuals in a social network that are strategically located to influence, intercept, strengthen or disrupt data flow between a set of actors. In this technique, actor characteristics and relationship strength are used as inputs into the analysis and the output is a set of actors which satisfies the desired objective and the constraints of the given problem. This extends the tool set of social network analysis to targeting of actors based on actor characteristics, relationship strength and network structure.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number