Abstract
Epistemic network analysis (ENA) has been used in more than 300 published studies to date. However, there is no work in publication that describes the transformations that constitute ENA in formal mathematical terms. This paper provides such a description, focusing on the mathematical formulations that lead to two key affordances of ENA that are not present in other network analysis tools or multivariate analyses: (1) summary statistics that can be used to compare the differences in the content rather than the structure of networks and (2) network visualizations that provide information that is mathematically consistent with those statistics. Specifically, we describe the mathematical transformations by which ENA constructs matrix representations of discourse data, uses those representations to generate networks for units of analysis, places those networks into a metric space, identifies meaningful dimensions in the space, and positions the nodes of network graphs within that space so as to enable interpretation of those dimensions in terms of the content of the networks. We conclude with a discussion of how the mathematical formalisms of ENA can be used to model networks more generally.
Original language  English 

Title of host publication  Advances in Quantitative Ethnography 
Subtitle of host publication  Second International Conference, ICQE 2020 Malibu, CA, USA, February 1–3, 2021 Proceedings 
Editors  Andrew R. Ruis, Seung B. Lee 
Place of Publication  Cham Switzerland 
Publisher  Springer 
Pages  91105 
Number of pages  15 
ISBN (Electronic)  9783030677886 
ISBN (Print)  9783030677879 
DOIs  
Publication status  Published  2021 
Event  International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography 2020  Malibu, United States of America Duration: 1 Feb 2021 → 3 Feb 2021 Conference number: 2nd https://www.icqe20.org (Website) https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/9783030677886 (Proceedings) 
Publication series
Name  Communications in Computer and Information Science 

Publisher  Springer Nature Switzerland 
Volume  1312 
ISSN (Print)  18650929 
ISSN (Electronic)  18650937 
Conference
Conference  International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography 2020 

Abbreviated title  ICQE 2020 
Country/Territory  United States of America 
City  Malibu 
Period  1/02/21 → 3/02/21 
Internet address 

Keywords
 Dimensional reduction
 Discourse
 ENA
 Epistemic network analysis
 Network visualization
 Quantitative ethnography