Modeling Historical Social Networks Databases

AbstractHistorical social networks are analyzed using prosopographical methods. Prosopography is a branch of historical research that focuses on the iden-tification of social networks that appear in historical sources. It aims to represent and to interpret histori-cal data, sourced from texts. Conceptual modeling imparts the capability to process these large data sets. This paper outlines a conceptual approach to design-ing a prosopographical database encompassing un-certainty. Our contribution is threefold: i) a generic certainty-based prosopographical conceptual model; ii) two meta-models with a mapping between them; iii) an illustrative example generating a customized pros-opographical relational model. Unlike past ap-proaches, our design process helps us to integrate disparate points of view as expressed in the proso-pography community. We apply our approach to the prosopographical database Studium Parisiense dedi-cated to members of Paris schools and university be-tween the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. This instan-tiation validates the usefulness of our approach.

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